Gun-rights vic­tory:

Illi­nois’ ban on con­cealed weapons un­con­sti­tu­tional.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Don Bab­win andjohn O’connor

A fed­eral ap­peals court strikes down a ban on car­ry­ing con­cealed weapons in Illi­nois — the only re­main­ing state where car­ry­ing con­cealed weapons is en­tirely il­le­gal.

chIcAGO — In a ma­jor vic­tory for gun rights ad­vo­cates, a fed­eral ap­peals court Tues­day struck down a ban on car­ry­ing con­cealed weapons in Illi­nois — the only re­main­ing state where car­ry­ing con­cealed weapons is en­tirely il­le­gal — and gave law­mak­ers 180 days to write a law that le­gal­izes it.

In over­turn­ing a lower court de­ci­sion, the 7th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals said the ban was un­con­sti­tu­tional and sug­gested a law le­gal­iz­ing con­cealed carry is long over­due in a state where gun ad­vo­cates had vowed to chal­lenge the ban on ev­ery front.

“There is no sug­ges­tion that some unique char­ac­ter­is­tic of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in Illi­nois jus­ti­fies the state’s tak­ing a dif­fer­ent ap­proach from the other 49 states,” Judge Richard Pos­ner said. “If the Illi­nois ap­proach were demon­stra­bly su­pe­rior, one would ex­pect at least one or two other states to have em­u­lated it.”

Gun rights ad­vo­cates were thrilled by the de­ci­sion. They have long ar­gued that the pro­hi­bi­tion vi­o­lates the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion’s Sec­ond Amend­ment and what they see as Amer­i­cans’ right to carry guns for self-de­fense.

“Christ­mas came early for law-abid­ing gun own­ers,” said state Rep. Bran­don Phelps, a Demo­cratic law­maker from south­ern Illi­nois whose pro­posed leg­is­la­tion ap­prov­ing con­cealed carry nar­rowly lost in the Leg­is­la­ture last year.

Gov. Pat Quinn, who fa­vors strict gun con­trol laws, did not im­me­di­ately com­ment on the rul­ing.

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