The federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals this week ruled that the Illinois ban on concealed carry is unconstitutional and ordered the General Assembly and Governor to enact a law within the next 180 days allowing our law-abiding citizens to carry firearms.
Barring an appeal of the ruling by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, concealed carry will certainly be one of the dominant issues when the legislature returns to Springfield in January.
The court’s welcome ruling is a recognition that law-abiding citizens in Illinois have a right to defend and protect themselves, just as the citizens of the 49 other states do. In today’s society, men and women should have an opportunity to be as safe on the streets as they are in their own homes.
I would hope that all Illinois officials use their energy to craft a concealed carry law with appropriate safeguards that will make Illinois the model for implementation of concealed carry laws, rather than using those resources to appeal the court’s ruling.
I have consistently supported measures to allow our citizens to carry concealed weapons and will work with my colleagues in the legislature to write a law that meets that goal as well as to provide for safe enforcement of it. We can draw on the laws and experiences of every other state to provide a comprehensive law that doesn’t put undue or over-reaching restraints on the women and men who own firearms in Illinois.
Already there are predictions that concealed carry would turn Illinois into the wild, wild West or allow gun owners to carry assault weapons on major Chicago thoroughfares if the General Assembly did not act. Other states have dealt with this Second Amendment issue rationally and reasonably. I am certain Illinois can too for the safety and protection of our families.