The Federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals just struck down as unconstitutional several Illinois laws which make it a crime to carry a loaded firearm in public. The Court has given Illinois 180 days to enact new laws consistent with the Second Amendment right to carry loaded firearms in public.
Although the proponents of concealed carry are hailing this as a victory, the court was careful to point out that Illinois can ban concealed carry if it wants to:
“[A] state may be able to require “open carry” – that is, require persons who carry a gun in public to carry it in plain view rather than concealed. See District of Columbia v. Heller”
In the landmark 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the US Supreme Court emphasized that Open Carry is the right guaranteed by the US Constitution and that states may ban concealed carry if they want to.
The one thing Illinois may not do is to make it a crime to openly carry a loaded firearm in public.
The Attorney General for Illinois said she is still reviewing the decision. It should not surprise anyone if she appeals this decision to the US Supreme Court. If the Illinois Attorney General does appeal the decision and it is affirmed by the US Supreme Court, the decision would be binding throughout the nation.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard oral arguments in four cases seeking permits to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public. Three are out of California and one is from Hawaii. All four cases are expected to file supplemental notices citing the decision from the 7th Circuit. Two already have.
One of the laws struck down today by the 7th Circuit is identical to a California law which makes it a crime to openly carry a loaded firearm in public. That law was enacted in 1967 and is challenged in a Federal lawsuit brought by Charles Nichols, President of California Right To Carry.