On December 11, a 3 judge panel from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unconstitutional Illinois’ near total ban on the concealed carry of firearms. The 47 page decision in Moore v. Madigan gives the Illinois legislature 180 days to craft legislation “…consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion…”
In the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision, the Supreme Court upheld the 2nd Amendment right of American citizens to “…use arms in defense of hearth and home…” by finding unconstitutional the 32 year Washington D.C. ban on the keeping of functioning firearms in the home.
Two years later, in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Court ruled that the individual right to keep and bear arms applies to the states, thereby “…protecting [that] right from infringement by local governments.” As Justice Alito wrote in the majority decision, “It is clear that the Framers . . . counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.”
Yet in keeping with the left’s contempt for the right to keep and bear arms as it applies to anyone but their own bodyguards, both of the landmark Supreme Court rulings were effectively ignored—indeed defied– by the respective losing parties. In the case of Heller, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty replied to the Court by keeping in place the original, offending provision that “…the firearm must be locked, disassembled or in some way rendered inoperable, until the owner [feels] “impending danger.” The mayor also refused to end a ban on semi-automatic weapons with magazines accepting 12 or more rounds. The city defined such weapons as “machine guns”!
In response to McDonald, the gun-grabbing minions of Chicago’s intellectually challenged Mayor Richard Daley devised a 29 page “Ordinance” defining the legal manner in which firearms may be acquired and used. Gun registration, restriction of ammunition sales and ownership, mandatory city-approved training classes, and expensive and cumbersome licensing procedures all became part of a deliberate scheme to convince Chicagoans that gun ownership was just not worth the price and inconvenience of city-imposed regulation!
But in spite of the left’s track record of hypocrisy and contempt, David B. Kopel, a law professor and 2nd Amendment attorney, believes that gun owners will be pleasantly surprised with the new legislation that the Illinois legislature is being compelled to draft.
Respected enough to be cited in both the majority and minority opinions of the 7th Circuit in its Moore decision, Kopel says that “given that the majority of the Illinois legislature is already in favor of Shall Issue, I think the risks of May Issue are fairly low.”
In short, it will soon be mandatory that Illinois SHALL issue a license to carry a concealed weapon to any law abiding citizen who wishes it. Unlike other states in which a license MAY be issued by state authorities IF an applicant provides a sufficiently compelling reason for the state to do so, Illinois licensing officials will have no choice. If Kopel is right, this will represent a sea change unimagined even as little as a year ago.
The majority of the American public strongly believes that existing 2nd Amendment rights must be protected from the continued assault of the left. In fact, so clear is the attitude of the American people that many of the most dedicated of congressional leftists fear the very mention of gun control legislation, and the presence on Capitol Hill of gun confiscation advocacy groups like the Brady bunch is strongly discouraged.
Maybe Kopel is correct. If so, the only state to deny concealed carry will finally recognize the most fundamental of God-given rights–that of self-defense.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.