Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The 7th Circuit Opinion that required Illinois to enact concealed carry

The Seventh Circuit opinion mentioned in the post below (Illinois must enact concealed carry to comply with Second Amendment is Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 901 (2013).  A copy is available on Findlaw.  Some excerpts follow:

"Blackstone described the right of armed self-preservation as a fundamental natural right of Englishmen, on a par with seeking redress in the courts or petitioning the government. 1 Blackstone, supra, at 136, 139–40. The Court in Heller inferred from this that eighteenth-century English law recognized a right to possess guns for resistance, self-preservation, self-defense, and protection against both public and private violence. 554 U.S. at 594. The Court said that American law was the same. Id. at 594–95. And in contrast to the situation in England, in less peaceable America a distinction between keeping arms for self-defense in the home and carrying them outside the home would, as we said, have been irrational. All this is debatable of course, but we are bound by the Supreme Court's historical analysis because it was central to the Court's holding in Heller." . . .

"In sum, the empirical literature on the effects of allowing the carriage of guns in public fails to establish a pragmatic defense of the Illinois law. Bishop, supra, at 922–23; Mark V. Tushnet, Out of Range: Why the Constitution Can't End the Battle over Guns 110–11 (2007). Anyway the Supreme Court made clear in Heller that it wasn't going to make the right to bear arms depend on casualty counts. 554 U.S. at 636. If the mere possibility that allowing guns to be carried in public would increase the crime or death rates sufficed to justify a ban, Heller would have been decided the other way, for that possibility was as great in the District of Columbia as it is in Illinois." . . .

"Remarkably, Illinois is the only state that maintains a flat ban on carrying ready-to-use guns outside the home,  . . . "

and finally

"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."

It is refreshing to see such honesty and integrity from a federal court.

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