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The Illinois State Rifle Association is urging Land of Lincoln residents to count their ballistic chickens before the concealed carry egg hatches. ISRA’s latest press release [via ammoland] offers four pieces of common sense advice following the 7th Circuit Court’s decision that the right to bear arms means the right to bear arms. They reckon aspiring armed citizens should get their IL FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card, buy concealed carry firearms and holsters now (before the demand outstrips supply), get safety training and practice, practice, practice (I’m counting that one once). They forgot one thing: get a good lawyer on speed dial. And bone-up on your use-of-force rules . . .

Click here to read the statute (720 ILCS 5/7-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 7-1) Sec. 7-1.”Use of force in defense of person” which states:

(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.

As always. it’s down to the DA and the jury to determine “reasonable belief.” Here’s the bad news: for a defensive gun use resulting in a room-temperature perp, Illinois law requires an “affirmative defense.” In other words, you’re guilty until proven innocent.

So, until and unless the Illinois legislature clarifies the law (best case through a “stand your ground” law like Florida’s) and/or defensive gun use becomes an accepted part of Illinois’ legal landscape, any defensive gun use outside the home is going to require a good lawyer, a pot of cash and a sympathetic jury.

Good luck with that. No really. Good luck.

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  1. Regarding that cool poster, wasn’t it Washington who could not tell a lie? Still, good for IL to get some 2A rights back.

  2. So if someone busts down your door and says “I’m gonna kill you,” you can shoot, and you *might* be okay legally. But if you kill someone who got in quietly, undetected (heck, maybe even politely under false pretenses), and then without warning tried to kill you, the law will prosecute you for murder.

    I guess this is what happens when you allow ninjas to write your self-defense statutes.

    • Ing, here in California we used to have a duty to retreat. Even to the point of leaving our homes. But even here on the left coast we now have a version of castle law. We can presume an intruder means us harm and use whatever force needed to stop the threat.

      Things are changing in our favor, little by little. Hopefully once the courts have broken the choke hold on Illinois that Chicago has we’ll see some gun favorable rules put in place there.

      • I am with JWM on this one.
        California still has neutered rifles, and magazines, but in reality the law is getting better about the right to defend ourselves. We still have hopolophbics in the legislature so until they get cleared out we will still have people who believe the way a gun looks means it is evil.

    • Not so, Ing. The latter example, burglary, falls under the classification “forcable felony” in Illinois.

      It is actually part of a very solid self defense law that was passed in response to a high profile DGU. It’s very similar to castle doctrine and in some ways superior because of how forcable felony is defined.

    • Yeah, wait an hour to see if any cops show up just in case a neighbor heard the shots and called it in. You need to wait at least 3 hours in some cities, since that’s when the cops get around to dealing with calls backed up in queue.

      Hardwood floors and tile are an easier mop up than rugs are and remember to have plastic sheeting and bags of lye handy.

  3. I used to miss Chicago pizza yet now the oppressive Illinois laws and politically-stupid society would make it taste like hemlock to me.

  4. Incremental improvements are often the best approach. Look at the controversies surrounding the abortion decision and racial civil rights–those changes came swift and huge. I’m satisfied with making solid but measured gains.

  5. Did Illinois legalize cans too? Looks like Abe’s on his way to shoot the neighbors cat. BTW that movie was a propaganda piece.

  6. Legislators of any state who wish to impose any more laws to suppress my Second Amendment rights need schooling in the three Rs: Resistance, Rioting, and Revolt.

  7. Here’s a question that defies logic: Why do we continue to vote for turds who take away our money and freedom?

  8. Lincoln was propaganda? I figured that the Dems would be crying foul when they saw a GOP freeing slaves, don’t lecture me on history blah blah blah republicans of the past are the new democrats. I’m glad that Illinois’s voters finally grew a pair. Have fun enjoying your rights.

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