1:39 p.m. CST, December 11, 2012
Illinois is the only state in the country that does not make some provision for ordinary citizens to carry concealed firearms. But not for long. Today, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said the state ban is unconstitutional because it violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
It's a surprising decision, and it may not survive Supreme Court scrutiny. But it has forced state legislators, who have 180 days to draft a new conceal-carry law, to take the idea seriously -- something they have stubbornly refused to do.
There is a strong anti-gun culture in Illinois, particularly in Chicago -- whose total ban on handgun ownership was struck down by the Supreme Court in a landmark Second Amendment case. Our lawmakers have refused to confront the evidence from other states that allowing law-abiding citizens to get licenses to carry handguns does not lead to more murders or more crime. What the laws do is give people who feel the need for such protection to have it.