The right to bear arms

SAF just announced:

The Second Amendment Foundation today won a significant victory for concealed carry when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a December ruling by a three-judge panel of the court that forces Illinois to adopt a concealed carry law, thus affirming that the right to bear arms exists outside the home.

The ruling came in Moore v. Madigan, a case filed by SAF. The December opinion that now stands was written by Judge Richard Posner, who gave the Illinois legislature 180 days to “craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment…on the carrying of guns in public.” That clock is ticking, noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.

“Illinois lawmakers need to create some kind of licensing system or face the prospect of not having any regulations at all when Judge Posner’s deadline arrives,” Gottlieb said. “They need to act. They can no longer run and hide from this mandate.”

“We were delighted with Judge Posner’s ruling in December,” he continued, “and today’s decision by the entire circuit to allow his ruling to stand is a major victory, and not just for gun owners in Illinois. Judge Posner’s ruling affirmed that the right to keep and bear arms, itself, extends beyond the boundary of one’s front door.”

In December, Judge Posner wrote, “The right to ‘bear’ as distinct from the right to ‘keep’ arms is unlikely to refer to the home. To speak of ‘bearing’ arms within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage. A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.”

Judge Posner subsequently added, “To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense described in Heller and McDonald.”

“It is now up to the legislature,” Gottlieb said, “to craft a statute that recognizes the right of ordinary citizens to carry outside the home, without a sea of red tape or a requirement to prove any kind of need beyond the cause of personal protection.”

The ruling also affects a similar case filed by the National Rifle Association known as Shepard v. Madigan.

This is a stepping stone to slap down California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., Maryland, and others that have “May Issue” permitting for carry. It may even enable nationwide Constitutional Carry.

Bloomberg/MAIG, the Brady Campaign, and other anti-freedom groups may soon have very little legislative action available for them to consider.

Third Power has comments too.


17 thoughts on “The right to bear arms

  1. Pingback: Civil Rights Victory | My Constructed Reality

  2. The 7th is Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana. If IL does nothing, then they get constitutional carry. The Rs in IL don’t seem to motivated to do much but block the various stupid Dem proposals, because they get the most by passing nothing.

    Are there any other district court ruling that are in clear and direct opposition to this, so that appeals are highly likely to go to the SCOTUS in a timely manner?

      • “In light of our nation’s extensive practice of restricting citizen’s freedom to carry firearms in a
        concealed manner, we hold that this activity does not fall within the scope of the Second Amendment’s protections,” the judges ruled.

        A screwed up ruling like that could have made Brown v. Board of Education turn out entirely differently:

        “In light of the south’s extensive practice of restricting black student’s access to white only schools we hold that this activity does not fall within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections,”

        Just because “every one’s doing it” doesn’t make it right.

        What are the chances there will be enough semi-reasonable people left in the Supreme Court by the time this makes it there?

    • Overlooking the fact that I hate the entire concept, I don’t like the part allowing the seller to keep a copy of the 4473. It seems like a wonderful identity theft packet.

  3. Good as it may be, we need to be careful. This is something of a compromise. Allowing a state to restrict carry in some way, or to require permitting, still upholds the notion that our rights are “granted” by government rather than belonging to the People.

    I like the term “constitutional carry” because it hits directly on the issue– anything else is “unconstitutional”.

    • Bingo. Also, leave it to the state of IL to screw this up, especially if the “permit” thing stands. (even if it doesn’t, I wouldn’t put it past them to find a way to make life difficult).

      I personally know one guy who had a first-offense DUI conviction & the state “forgot” to give him his driver’s license back after he had completed the mandatory sentence, probation, etc. By the letter of the law, he should have had it back & been legal to drive again after a year (IIRC), but it’s been about fifteen…

      Also note, this was NOT in Chicago or the suburbs, although it was in an urban, mostly Democrat, area.

  4. Lyle,

    The only path to Constitutional Carry in the modern era has proven to be through “shall-issue” first. Of course we’ll keep pushing for that everywhere.

    • Yes, Matthew. I just want to make sure we keep our eyes on the prize, never to look at carry permitting as an end in itself, but only as a step in the right direction (“Jew permitting” anyone? Well I guess it’s better than Jew ovens, given the choice between the two, see). And so I will always be making these cautionary jabbs. We tread a very thin line.

      • True enough. But, to stretch the metaphor, in recent decades the “carry” railroads have only run -away- from the ovens, not towards them.

          • Trend. Key word. I should have qualified that for states in which change has occured in the modern era.

            NY, NJ, HI, et al haven’t left the station.

            The point being, no state has gone from Con Carry, back to Shall, nor Shall back to May. Nor yet even in the worst states from May to No Carry.

            I dont want to come across as a Pollyanna, just that we can appreciate the good trends too.

  5. It seems everywhere this is discussed the assumption is constitutional carry if the legislature doesn’t act. The more likely situation, it seems to me, would be a different set of rules in every jurisdiction requiring each to be run up the judicial flag pole.

    Careful what you wish for…

    • Circuit rulings apply locally as much as at the state level don’t they?

      In any event it is primarily the Chicago area counties/districts who voted against the shall issue bills the past few years, Most of the state is ready to comply already.

  6. Happy to hear about Illinois.
    Do you have any comments about the senate committee block here in WA? I’m a little mixed up about what the remaining threats are, and it would be very useful to hear where my time would be best spent next week.
    Do you have a good source for washington gun rights news?

  7. ecurb,
    Sign up for the WA-CCW e-mail list on Yahoo groups. I’m a moderator there; the list carries frequent updates and discussion on news and events of interest to gun owners in Washington.

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