By June 2013, lawful citizens in Chicago -- the site of 2,364 shootings and 487 homicides in 2012 through early December -- will be able to exercise a Constitutionally guaranteed individual right and carry concealed weapons in public for defense, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Dec. 11.
In the 2-to-1 ruling, the Court struck down an Illinois law banning residents from carrying handguns in public, calling the restriction "arbitrary" and "unconstitutional."
The ruling effectively ends Illinois' one-year reign as the only state to not recognize the Second Amendment. Illinois earned the honor after Wisconsin lawmakers tossed out its ban on concealed carry last year.
The Court gave Illinois lawmakers 180 days to craft a new law that ends the state's ban on guns outside the home.
Writing for the majority, Judge Richard Posner said such a limit was impermissible because "the interest in self defense extends outside the home."
"A Chicagoan is a good deal more likely to be attacked on a sidewalk in a rough neighborhood than in his apartment on the 35th floor of Park Tower," Posner wrote. "To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense ..."
Gun control adherents, primarily Chicago politicians, are lobbying State Attorney General Lisa Madigan to appeal the ruling. If that fails, they vow to battle in the legislature to make the state's concealed carry law as restrictive as possible.
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said lawmakers could quickly pass an existing concealed-carry bill when they reconvene the first week of January. The bill, he said, "contains all the things -- background checks, classroom time -- that all the parties wanted, so it's ready to go," but he said the sponsors may not need to include all those provisions this time around.
"We bent over backwards before and tried to accommodate everybody, and they just threw it in the garbage," Pearson said. "Maybe we won't be so accommodating now."
For more, go to:
-- Court Ruling on Ill. Gun Ban Sets Stage for Fight
-- Illinois State Rifle Association Offers Concealed Carry Advice To Illinois Citizens
-- Chicago vows to fight concealed carry ruling
-- Federal court ruling on Illinois concealed carry ban sets stage for appeal, legislative battle
-- Act in self-defense, Illinois
-- Gun rights, even in Illinois
-- Quinn, Emanuel assail court's concealed carry decision
-- Federal Court Throws Out Ill. Concealed Weapons Ban
-- Court ruling on Ill. gun ban sets stage for fight
-- Quinn: Ill. concealed carry law must have limits
-- Appeals court strikes down Illinois ban on handguns in public
-- Gun shop owner: Concealed guns might make Chicago more polite
-- Concealed weapons: Illinois's last-in-the-nation ban must go, US court rules
-- Victory for Self-Defense and the Second Amendment