* 10:51 am - I have a speech to give in a few minutes so I can’t blog much about it, but read the decision and discuss in comments...
We are disinclined to engage in another round of historical analysis to determine whether eighteenth-century America understood the Second Amendment to include a right to bear guns outside the home.
The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside. The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense.
Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden.
The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment therefore compels us to reverse the decisions in the two cases before us and remand them to their respective district courts for the entry of declarations of unconstitutionality and permanent injunctions.
Nevertheless we order our mandate stayed for 180 days to allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public.
* 12:37 pm - Tribune…
“The (Illinois) legislature, in the new session, will be forced to take up a statewide carry law,” said NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde.
The lobbyist said prior attempts to reach a middle ground with opponents will no longer be necessary because “those compromises are going out the window.”
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is reading the just-issued opinion and is unable at this point to comment about the prospects of filing an appeal, a spokeswoman said.
In Chicago, Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus, welcomed the ruling, citing the “unequal treatment” of people caught with weapons in Cook County.
“If you’re stopped in Chicago, it’s been a felony. If you’re stopped in one of these suburban towns, the state’s attorney has been charging you with a misdemeanor,” Brookins said.
“If you just walk out to your garage and see that your wife is coming in the house safely and you happen to have your gun on, you’re in technical violation of our ordinance. I would hope that all of these ordinances would be consolidated, and there would be one set of rules [so] people know where the bright line is.”
Brookins said he’s not at all concerned that concealed carry would turn inner-city neighborhoods already reeling from gang violence into shooting galleries.