Victory: Illinois Ban on Handgun Carry Struck Down

Katie Pavlich

12/11/2012 2:00:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

In a victory for the Second Amendment and self defense advocates everywhere, Judge Richard Posner ruled in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Tuesday that the Illinois ban on carrying a firearm outside of the home for self-defense purposes is unconstitutional.

“One doesn’t have to be a historian to realize that a right to keep and bear arms for personal self-defense in the eighteenth century could not rationally have been limited to the home. . . .  Twenty-first century Illinois has no hostile Indians. But a Chicagoan is a good deal more likely to be attacked on a sidewalk than in his apartment on the 35th floor,” Posner said.

Illinois resident, trained gun owner and concealed carry permit holder for Utah and Florida Mary Shepard is the lead plaintiff in the case and received funding for the case from the National Rifle Association. The Illinois State Rifle and Pistol Association joined Shepard as a co-plaintiff in the case.

Shepard filed the case after she and an 83-year-old co-worker were violently attacked inside their church by a 245 pound criminal with a long rap sheet back in 2009. Shepard and her co-worker luckily survived, but each had to recover from many severe injuries to their heads, necks and upper bodies. Shepard has undergone many extensive surgeries and attends ongoing physical therapy to recover. 

“Today’s ruling is a victory for all law abiding citizens in Illinois and gun owners throughout the country,” Executive Vice President of the NRA Wayne LaPierre said. “The court recognized that the text and history of the Second Amendment guarantee individuals the right to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense and other lawful purposes. In light of this ruling, Mary Shepard and the people of Illinois will finally be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Until today, Illinois was the only state to have a complete ban on the carry of firearms.