Christmas comes early for gun rights advocates.
(Fox)–In a victory for gun rights advocates, a federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down Illinois’ ban on carrying concealed weapons — the only total concealed-carry ban in the country.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals gave state lawmakers six months to come up with their own version of the law that legalizes concealed carry.
“We’re extremely pleased with the ruling,” Illinois State Rifle Association leader Richard Pearson said. “Now that the court has ruled … we will work as soon as possible with legislators to craft a concealed-carry bill for the state of Illinois.”
The 2-1 decision marks a huge win for gun rights advocates who have argued that the ban on concealed weapons violates the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment and what they see as citizens’ right to carry guns for self-defense.
A new law could be in place by January, Pearson said. A bill has already been written by Rep. Brandon Phelps that includes background checks, field provisions and other issues.
“Christmas came early for law-abiding gun owners,” said Phelps, whose proposed legislation came within three votes of passing in 2011.
Judge Richard Posner wrote in the court’s majority opinion that the state “had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden.”
He continued: “The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense.”