Court Strikes Down Illinois Concealed Gun Laws

Illinois is the only state without some kind of law that allows people to carry concealed weapons.

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, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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.

The ruling is a victory for gun rights advocates, who argue that the prohibition against concealed weapons violates the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment and what they see as Americans’ right to carry guns for self-defense.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office told the AP it is reviewing the ruling and would comment Tuesday.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by former corrections officer Michael Moore of Champaign, farmer Charles Hooks of Percy in southeastern Illinois and the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation.

It’s the latest setback for gun control advocates.

Earlier this year, a federal judge threw out a part of Chicago’s gun law, finding a section of the ordinance is too vague and unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan ruled in favor of Chicago resident Shawn Gowder, who was denied a permit to possess a gun in Chicago, due to a past conviction for unlawful use of a weapon.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city’s ban on handgun possession within city limits, and then-Mayor Richard M. Daley and the City Council later passed a new gun ordinance, allowing city residents to possess handguns only within their own homes, and requiring them to first obtain city firearm permits.