Seventh Circuit Finds Illinois ‘Concealed Carry’ Ban Unconstitutional

In an opinion by Judge Posner (he of the “let’s sell our organs and babies!” camp and probable #1 reason why he’ll never be on the US Supreme Court), the 7th Circuit yesterday released an opinion invalidating Illinois’s law forbidding a person from carrying a loaded gun in public, finding Illinois’s complete ban on concealed-carry permits to be unconstitutional under the 2nd Amendment. 

Illinois is the only state that has (had?) a flat ban on carrying a gun in public as a matter of law. There are the usual exceptions for hunting and recreational shooting, but otherwise you can’t get a concealed carry permit in Illinois for any reason.

In Moore v. Madigan, (link to full opinion here), the 7th Circuit weighed in on the meaning of the word “bear” in the 2nd Amendment, holding “a right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.”  Skipping any scrutinous analysis, “Illinois’s failure to justify the most restrictive gun law of any of the 50 states.”  For Posner, the blanket ban was basically equivalent to a restriction on preventing people from speaking in public. This of course, ignores the first part of the 2nd amendment: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Interestingly, in Kachalsky v. Westchester County, the 2nd Circuit upheld New York’s licensing requirement which gives concealed carry permits only to applicants who demonstrate some unique or unusual threat.  Whether this sets up enough of a circuit split for the Court to take this issue up remains to be seen.

More reading:

Chicago Tribune

Volokh Conspiracy

Header pic via [Flickr].


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