The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday threw out an Illinois law banning concealed handguns, which had been the nation’s only blanket law against concealed carry.
Lawmakers will have 180 days to rewrite the law to replace one that judges decided in a 2-1 ruling was in violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
“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 court’s opinion read. States are permitted to impose “reasonable restrictions” on gun ownership and use in the interest of public safety.
States have different rules about how they issue concealed carry permits, but Illinois had been the only state that totally disallowed the practice. The only other previous holdout, Wisconsin, passed a law in 2011 allowing concealed carry.
Gun rights advocates were jubilant over the Seventh Circuit ruling. “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,” attorney David G. Sigale of the Second Amendment Foundation told the Chicago Tribune. “The right of self-defense doesn’t end at your front door.”
Illinois officials have not yet indicated if they will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in recent years has struck down handgun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C. but hasn’t yet offered a major ruling on a concealed carry law.