Friday, September 13, 2013

Illinois Supreme Court: Second Amendment Applies Outside the Home

Young lady with revolver in Arizona

Today, 12 September, 2013,  the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the second amendment of the Bill of Rights applies to the carrying of arms outside of the home.  They did this by declaring the Illinois statute which makes carry of loaded firearms outside of a persons property illegal, to be unconstitutional.  From the decision:
  We begin with section 24-1.6(a)(1),
(a)(3)(A), which states:
“(a) A person commits the offense of aggravated unlawful
use of a weapon when he or she knowingly:
(1) Carries on or about his or her person or in any
vehicle or concealed on or about his or her person except
when on his or her land or in his or her abode or fixed
place of business any pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser or
other firearm; [and]
(3) One of the following factors is present:
(A) the firearm possessed was uncased, loaded
and immediately accessible at the time of the
-4-¶ 16
¶ 17
offense[.]” 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A) (West
  The court then goes on to present the arguments for and against.  The Court finds that the determinations of the Seventh circuit that the second amendment and the Heller and McDonald decisions protect a right to carry arms for self defense outside of the home are persuasive, and rules the above statute to be unconstitutional under the second amendment.

Accordingly, as the Seventh Circuit did in Moore, we here hold
that, on its face, section 24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A) violates the right to
keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the second amendment to the
United States Constitution. Defendant’s conviction under that section
therefore is reversed.3
 Here is the footnote 3 referred to above:

Following the decision in Moore, the General Assembly enacted the
Firearm Concealed Carry Act, which inter alia amended the AUUW statute
to allow for a limited right to carry certain firearms in public. See Pub. Act
98-0063 (eff. July 9, 2013), Neither the Firearm Concealed Carry Act nor
the amended AUUW statute is at issue in this case.
This is a significant victory for the restoration of second amendment rights in the United States.  It has implications that are just beginning to be understood.

One of the most obvious is the potential that Illinois has become an open carry state.   The statute struck down is the one that made open carry in Illinois illegal.  The Firearm Concealed Carry Act deals with concealed carry, and put into place strong statewide preemption for the regulation of pistols.  It created a situation where people from out of state could carry pistols in their vehicles without a concealed carry permit.

There were separate rules that allowed local governments to regulate long guns.

It appears that the law forbidding the open carry of handguns has been struck down, and that statewide preemption forbids local governments, including Chicago, from imposing their own local infringements.

I would urge caution in exercising second amendment rights under this decision.

Even in Wisconsin, where open carry has never been illegal, police are still harassing and violating the rights of open carriers.

The dynamic that made it hard to get a shall issue concealed carry law passed in Illinois, now works to prevent a swift legislative approach to stop open carry.  A simple majority of either house can stop a bill, and there is a majority of legislators in Illinois that support the second amendment.

That this victory was obtained through criminal proceedings, instead of a carefully selected test case, makes the victory all the more interesting.

Today, Illinois residents have moved a step closer to restoration of their second amendment rights.

 ©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.


Anonymous said...

Your link to the "Opinions" PDF doesn't work.

Dean Weingarten said...

The link to the decision (pdf) should work now.

Anonymous said...

Aptly stated, the Left is brain-dead. They constantly think with their heart's on every issue, not with common sense and logic. They don't want to know the truth, nor do they care about documented facts and figures. Logic and the truth doesn't fit in their dramatic agenda.