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Seventh Circuit upholds constitutional right to concealed carry

February 25, 2013
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals last week (2-22-13) struck a significant blow against gun control in a decision which upheld the right of law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. Both the trial court, which was upheld, and the Court of Appeals held that the circumstances of conceal carry can be regulated as long as the restraints are reasonable and do not infringe on the right to protect oneself.

The case was supported by the Second Amendment Foundation which issued the following statement:
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."
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  1. reply print email
    Second Amendment
    February 26, 2013 | 03:07 AM

    I agree with Justice Posner that the right to "bear" arms only makes sense if applied to a situation outside the home. I also believe that background checks (to identify criminals) and a mental health history (to identify unstable individuals) should be a part of any regulation concerning the right to own a weapon or to carry a concealed weapon.

    Tommie Sue Rabby
  2. reply print email
    Carry Arms on Military Base by Civilian Worker
    April 22, 2013 | 04:51 PM

    As a civil servant, my right to bear arms to and from work on a military base is severely infringed by the Federal Felony prohibiting such. This leaves me defenseless during my daily commute. How is that the right to bear arms ends at my front door if traveling to a Federal property? I understand that I am rightfully prohibited from entering any Federal building with a weapon, but I should certainly be allowed to keep a weapon in my car or truck, shouldn't I?

    David Wayne Edwards
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    Good Judge
    May 21, 2013 | 12:11 PM

    Judge Posner was actually a vocal critic of the Supreme Court's Heller and McDonald decisions (he wrote a noteworthy piece on Heller called "In Defense of Looseness" back in 2008).

    The fact that he decided this case consistently with Heller, though, shows what a good judge he is; he'll set aside his personal views and apply the law as it is rather than torture it to get it to say what he wants it to say, as many lesser judicial lights might do.

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