A federal appeals ruling has given Illinois gun-rights advocates new hope for a concealed-carry bill in the New Year. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals says the state’s current gun-control laws are not reasonable; for example, defending one’s home is all well and good, but you would be more likely to encounter the need to defend yourself out on the street than, as the ruling suggests, inside a 35th-floor condo.
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The ruling directs the state legislature to write a new law in the coming session, and one of Illinois’ leading pro-gun voices says it assures Illinois will become the 50th state to approve concealed-carry. “I think the state has tried to maintain an unattainable position, and the court has recognized that,” says Todd Vandermyde, legislative liaison for the National Rifle Association.
Vandermyde says the legislature has no choice: “Illinois has to adopt a carry law. Failure to do that means that (Cook County State’s Attorney) Anita Alvarez and 101 other state’s attorneys will not be able to enforce the (unlawful use of a weapon) statute on the streets. I don’t think they want that type of fiscal cliff to come to be.” The Illinois attorney general’s office, defendant in the case in question, e-mailed the following statement:
“The court gave 180 days before its decision will be returned to the lower court to be implemented. That time period allows our office to review what legal steps can be taken and enables the legislature to consider whether it wants to take action.”