Appellate Court Decision Fails to Answer Illinois Gun Rights Issues Says John Marshall Law School Professor Ann Lousin

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Questions of gun rights in Illinois were not answered by a federal appeals court in Chicago on Tuesday, argues Professor Ann Lousin of The John Marshall Law School.

Questions of gun rights in Illinois were not answered by a federal appeals court in Chicago on Tuesday, argues Professor Ann Lousin of The John Marshall Law School.

“No matter what statute the Illinois Legislature comes up with, there will be future litigation,” stressed Lousin, an acknowledged expert on the Illinois Constitution. “And, I predict that the litigation in Illinois state courts will also implicate the separate right to bear arms in the Illinois Constitution.”

A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Tuesday held in Moore v. Madigan that the right to bear arms for self-defense extends outside one’s home. In a 2-1 decision, the court felt compelled by United States Supreme Court opinions on the Second Amendment to hold that that the Illinois statute banning carrying concealed weapons was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court cases—District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010)—dealt only with bans on having firearms in the home, but the Seventh Circuit held that there was at least as great a need to protect oneself outside the home as inside the home.

“This was a 2-1 opinion, and, as Judge (Ann) Williams pointed out in her dissent, there is a good possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court opinions do not go as far as Judges (Richard) Posner and (Joel) Flaum think they do,” said Lousin.

Lousin predicts that the State of Illinois will now attempt to change its statute because the Appeals Court stayed its order for 180 days in order to enable the legislature to remedy the statute.

Lousin is at The John Marshall Law School at 312.427.2737, ext. 434.
Moore v Madigan Nos. 12-1269, 12-1788, (7th Cir., Dec. 11, 2012)
District of Columbia v Heller (554 US 570)
McDonald v City of Chicago ( 130 S. Ct. 3020)

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Marilyn Thomas
The John Marshall Law School
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