The US 7th Circuit has struck down Illinois’ civilian firearms carry ban:
The state of Illinois would have to allow ordinary citizens to carry weapons under a federal appeals court ruling issued today, but the judges also gave lawmakers 180 days to put their own version of the law in place.
In a 2-1 decision that is a major victory for the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said the state’s ban on carrying a weapon in public is unconstitutional.
“We are disinclined to engage in another round of historical analysis to determine whether eighteenth-century America understood the Second Amendment to include a right to bear guns outside the home. The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside,” the judges ruled.
And there’s your importance of Heller and McDonald, right there.
“The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense. Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden.
Boy, has it ever.
David Sigale, an attorney who represented the Second Amendment Foundation in the lawsuit, called the decision by the appeals court in Chicago “historic.”
“What we are most pleased about is how the court has recognized that the Second Amendment is just as, if not at times more, important in public as it is in the home,” he said. “The right of self-defense doesn’t end at your front door.”
I loved the little bit of closet fascism buried in this next graf (emphasis added):
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said through a spokesman that he was “disappointed with the court’s decision.” The city is reviewing the opinion and will work with others “to best protect the residents of Chicago and still meet constitutional restrictions,” Bill McCaffrey added.
Comandante “Mayor” Emanuel: your city is a war zone. The best thing you can do to “protect the residents” is require each of them to become proficient at firearms.
There are some, of course, who get it:
Ald. Howard Brookins, 21st, chairman of the City Council black caucus, welcomed the decision, saying allowing Chicagoans to carry concealed weapons would help level the playing field in neighborhoods where law-abiding citizens feel like they need firearms to protect themselves.
“Certain people will have a sense of safety and peace of mind in the ability to do it,” Brookins said of conceal-carry. “I know that even people, for example, just trying to see that their loved ones get homes safely are in technical violation of all sorts of weapons violations. If you just walk out to your garage and see that your wife is coming in the house safely, and you happen to have your gun on you, you’re in technical violation of our ordinance. So I would hope all these ordinances would be consolidated so there’s one set of rules and people would know where the bright line is to what they can and cannot do with respect to carrying a weapon.”
Brookins said he’s not worried doing away with the state ban would lead to an increase in gun violence as more people walk the streets with weapons. “I think those people have a gun now, they’ve just been made criminals because they can’t legally have it,” Brookins said. “And I think the gangbangers and thugs are going to have a gun regardless.”
Alderman Brookins – like his fellow Afro-American Chicagoan, Otis McDonald, whose epic lawsuit against Chicago ended with the incorporation of the Second Amendment onto the states – gets it; gun control is racist, and in its Chicago form exists mainly to make criminals out of the law-abiding while leaving criminals unmolested.
Anyway, that’s the good news.
The bad news? It’s Chicago. After the SCOTUS ruled in McDonald that lefty syndicratic kleptocracies like Chicago and the District of Columbia couldn’t ban civilian gun ownership outright, they responded by making the process as byzantine as getting a work visa in North Korea.
Comandante “Mayor” Emanuel will do everything he can to do the same to any carry bill. He’s got six months to array all of Illinois’ Democrats’ mad bureaucratic skills against the law-abiding schmuck that’s lucky enough to survive the gangs’ reign of terror that long.
Or wait for Obama to issue an executive decree that moots the whole topic.
But til then, let’s all of us supporters of civil rights and human dignity rejoice. Judge Posner did the right thing. And while Chicago may be a bureaucratic lost cause, the decision could have a ripple effect. John Hinderaker – who, let the record show, is a real lawyer – notes:
Moore represents, I think, the most significant victory for gun rights since Heller
…and has excerpts from Judge Posner’s opinion.