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7th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Right to Openly Carry Firearms in Public

Today the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 5-4 to deny a petition filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to rehear the appellate court decision by judge Posner which struck down Illinois' ban on carrying loaded firearms in public.

Illinois' only recourse now is to file a petition with the United States Supreme Court to rehear the case but even if the high court decided to grant the petition, judge Posner's decision goes into effect on June 10th. He had given Illinois 180 days from his decision on December 11, 2012 to enact new legislation consistent with his decision saying that Illinois can ban concealed carry if it wants to because the US Supreme Court said in its 2008 decision that Open Carry is the right guaranteed by the Constitution and that states can prohibit concealed carry if they want to.

Constitutional Carry In Illinois Starts June 10th

On June 10th Illinois will have Constitutional Carry, the right to carry a loaded firearm in public (openly or concealed) without a government issued permission slip.

Unfortunately the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation are trying to torpedo Constitutional Carry in Illinois. Both organizations are calling upon the Illinois legislature to enact a law requiring that only those persons who have a permit issued by the state of Illinois be allowed to carry a loaded firearm in public.

Illinois bill HB997, not surprisingly requires one to take a training course from an NRA instructor or other 4 hour long course before being eligible to obtain a permit.

California Banned Open Carry Of Loaded Firearms In 1967

California had banned the Open Carry of loaded firearms in 1967 after approximately 30 members of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense staged an impromptu protest in the California Capitol building bearing loaded firearms which was legal at the time.

In 2011, the California legislature made it a crime to openly carry an unloaded handgun which was followed by a ban on openly carrying an unloaded long-gun in public the following year.

Last year, Oklahoma repealed its 1971 ban on openly carrying loaded firearms in public and there are currently bills filed to repeal the Open Carry bans in Texas and Arkansas. A lawsuit seeking to make concealed carry permits "shall issue" in the State of New York lost and is now seeking review from the US Supreme Court. Interestingly, neither New York nor Texas prohibit the Open Carry of loaded rifles or shotguns in public, just handguns.

NRA To Kill Arkansas, Texas Bills

The NRA is a powerful lobby. The Arkansas bill is unlikely to pass and the NRA will very likely kill the Texas Open Carry bill behind closed doors.

That leaves the Federal Courts as the last resort to overturning the Open Carry bans in the handful of states where it is still illegal. One such effort now underway in California seeks a Federal injunction against California's 1967 ban on openly carrying a loaded firearm in public. If successful, it would render California's unloaded Open Carry bans meaningless.

The California lawsuit was filed by Charles Nichols, President of California Right to Carry. It is opposed by the NRA and SAF.

See More:

In an exclusive interview, Star Joe Mantegna talks Guns, God, and The Godfather, in which, he talks about the Constitution.

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