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Federal Court Strikes Down Illinois' Concealed Carry Ban
Concealed carry in Illinois may soon be legal. Tuesday, a federal appeals court struck down a ban on carrying concealed weapons, finding it unconstitutional.
After years of lawmakers debating whether Illinois residents should be legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals announced the ruling.
John Jackson, owner of Capital City Arms Supply in Springfield said, "It's nice the court is upholding what already was our constitutional right that Illinois has tried to deny for so many years."
Right now, Illinois is the only state where carrying concealed weapons is entirely illegal. According to the ruling, state lawmakers have 180 days to write a new law that legalizes concealed carry.
"If the state passes one, I believe it will be far too restrictive and nobody will like it," Earl Acup, a gun rights advocate, said. "They're going to put far too many restrictions on where you can carry it, when you can carry it and it'll do no good."
Some gun rights advocates are not celebrating just yet. The appeals process could take the issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chris Mooney, a political science professor at UIS, said, "I wouldn't be surprised if they stayed this requirement until after the Supreme Court deals with it and then they'll have time to figure out what to do with it. I think if this goes to the Supreme Court, the state will lose."
The Illinois legislature will decide which restrictions to impose for a concealed carry law.
In the meantime, owners of Capital City Arms Supply in Springfield expect a boost in business--not only in firearm sales, but in training for certification to get a concealed carry permit.
"Phones have been ringing off the hook already," the owner said. "People want to know what they have to do because they want to get in on this as soon as they can."
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is reviewing the ruling before deciding whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.