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Illinois Supreme Court Justices (courtesy
The Illinois Supreme Court has just ruled in the case of Alberto Aguilar v. The People of the State of Illinois. Click here for the brief. Click here to read the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s brief arguing that “the carrying of firearms in public places creates serious public safety risks.” Click here for the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling. As follows: “The principal issue in this case is whether section 24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A) of the Illinois aggravated unlawful use of weapons (AUUW) statute (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A) (West 2008)) violates the right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the second amendment to the United States Constitution (U.S.Const., amend. II). We hold that it does.” In other words, they’ve turfed the law against bearing weapons outside the home. As you’d expect, the court’s decision cites Heller and McDonald Supreme Court rulings and tips its proverbial hat at Moore . . .

As the Seventh Circuit correctly noted, neither Heller nor McDonald expressly limits the second amendment’s protections to the home. On the contrary both decisions contain language strongly suggesting if not outright confirming that the second amendment right to keep and bear arms extends beyond the home. Moreover, if Heller means what it says, and “individual self-defense” is indeed “the central component” of the second amendment right to keep and bear arms (Heller, 554 U.S. at 599), then it would make little sense to restrict that right to the home, as “[c]onfrontations are not limited to the home.” Moore, 702 F.3d at 935-36. Indeed, Heller itself recognizes as much when it states that “the right to have arms *** was by the time of the founding understood to be an individual right protecting against both public and private violence.” (Emphasis added.) Heller, 554 U.S. at 593-94

The only fly in the ointment: the Illinois justices did NOT quash Mr. Aguilar’s conviction for underage possession. Once again, that Heller bit about “reasonable restrictions” has come home to roost.

“Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Heller, 554 U.S. at 626.

From there, the Court went on to emphasize that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” Id. at 626-27. The Court then immediately added, by way of footnote, that “[w]e identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.” Id. at 627 n.26.

Bottom line: it’s legal to prohibit minors from possessing firearms, but not to ban adult Americans from carrying a firearm outside the home—subject to certain provisions. A Pyrrhic victory then? Probably, generally, no. Time will tell.

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    • Indeed. Stand by for new gun tragedy.

      No, I am not saying said tragedy will be staged.

      Evil exists in the human heart; that evil manifests itself every day; it regularly manifests itself in the form of violence aided by firearms; when the inevitable happens, it will once again be thrown at us, not a evidence of the evil in the human heart, but as evidence of the folly of liberty.

      • This might be overly cynical of me, but recently we have had a prank caller who calls police in the area claiming to be at such and such hospital/school etc with an AK-47. In all cases, there was a lock down and a room by room search and no gunman, no shots. (Just some delayed students and even more delayed commuters…seriously added an hour to my drive…and that was three hours after the call…cops still blocking off streets)

        Not much publicity, comparatively. The media reports, however, cannot see the obvious. This is the same guy, and he is lying about the gun. Let us see. Same area. Same weapon claimed. Oh, and he always makes a point of saying “I have an AK 47 assault rifle”. And same time of day for the calls, around 2.

        It is either a terribly unimaginative prankster, someone committing another crime but diverting police (that was the theory our PD proposed, but no sign of another crime), or (my cynical view) an anti-gun agitator trying to make some scary news without actually hurting anyone.

        Of course the reaction among parents was wholly submissive to a police state mentality. One who moved here from New York complained that we do not have sufficient “security” at our middle schools and elementary or high school. And here I was thinking it was a good thing that we could go to school without metal detectors and TSA searches. Heck, I know full well what a mistake having security at the high school, even if all they did was walk around and catch truants, was. They sold drugs to students.

        Though maybe the parent was thinking that teachers should be packing….a not unpopular view among teachers I know…

      • Minors should not have guns in the first places. if youre under the age of 18 why do you have a gun? where is the parental supervision? I dont understand how parents can let there kids get away with these kinds of things, its other words, minors can have guns under very strict supervision and only for hunting but that is it. the laws with allowing minors to carry and have guns with them at all times is sad. why do they need guns?

  1. Just got done reading the decision. WELL DONE! Now it remains to be seen if the state and especially the city of Chicago come up with some other weasel wording to get around the decision. One wonder is they will appeal at the federal level.

    • Sadly, the Obamacare decision paved the way. Even if the government can’t directly control our choices, it can implement a tax scheme for the stated purpose of indirectly controlling our choices and taking the “wrong” choice.

      • Obamacare? Pft, this is the oldest trick in the book. The $200 tax in the NFA at the time of its passing in 1934 is worth about $3500 of today’s purchasing power.

        • Actually, inflation screws THEM. In 1934, that $200 tax was considered elephantine. Now you spend that much on two fancy meals with your honey.

    • How about a Security Guard without an GUN card. Provides safety for a crowd of 300,then at closing of the two clubs. Shoots rang outside and the Security Guard goes to get assistance from arriving Police car. They arrest him and send him to prison for no GUN card!!! Please respond. The police drummed up all kinds of other charges that were all dismissed!!! But they never mentioned the crowd of 300 until court attorney forced arresting officer!! Newspapers and TV footage made this Security Guard look ridiculous!

  2. Could this be an indication that the rest of state is fed up with being controlled and finacially raped by Chicago?

        • Absolutely true.

          If you want an effective mob with which to meet out mob justice, they ought look like the mobs of extras in a couple of Mel Brook’s movies.

        • Come ON, people! Invest in guillotines! Get rid of them with French nuance and European sophistication!

          I know, I know – Americans are way too impatient.

        • Come on, Idaho Pete. For these people, the head is not a vital organ, and removing it will not slow them down at all – except at making speeches. Mmm…having said the last, I see your point.

    • Yes, but this is the part that allows it to keep on “giving” in CA:

      “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on … laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

      In other words, they recognize the right to keep and bear, just not to obtain.

      • That’s why you rent an apartment in Nevada for a few weeks, buy what you want, then go back to CA. No registration, no licensing, and CA has no power to dictate to another state.

        • Save the money on the rental and gas to back and forth, apply for an FFL/SOT, and start a business on the side that allows you to own some of the “fun” guns!

        • rent a room. cheaper. Hell, I am sure the Bunny Ranch will rent you a room/mailbox and imagine the fun of picking up your toys . . . .

        • Actually, no. Nevada has become very strict about this at the “request” of California. To actually qualify as a Nevada resident for part of the year and, therefore, to be a dual-state NV/CA resident you must spend a significant amount of time in NV. Even if you had a residence there year-round, meaning paid for a home or rented an apartment, you would not qualify unless you were physically there for a decent portion of each year.

          Even if you do legitimately qualify you are, of course, still not allowed to bring anything into CA that CA bans. All AW laws must be followed, mag capacity laws, plus all of the new stuff that just passed through the assembly if Brown signs it into law. This means, as just one of hundreds of examples, if you buy a pistol with a threaded barrel in Nevada and bring it with you into CA, you’re a felon.

          AND… even if the dual state resident thing wasn’t really complicated, keep in mind that you couldn’t just go there and rent an apt for a few weeks and buy whatever you wanted, as you can’t buy a handgun in any state that you aren’t a resident in. You’d need a Nevada ID. They will NOT give one to a CA resident unless you can prove that you are living in NV for a significant portion of the year. AND… you also can’t buy a long gun in any other state if you have a CA ID. So… you’re screwed. As a WA resident I can buy long guns in lots of other states with my WA ID. As a CA resident, you can only buy any sort of gun in your own state.

        • The “Now you’re a felon in California” issue aside, exactly HOW can California prevent you or anyone else from bringing these weapons into the state? Sure they have checkpoints on most of the major entry freeways where they ASK if you have any fruits or vegetables, but they have no authority to actually look for them unless you admit to it OR agree to let them search.

          You could bring a whole truckload of “Assault Weapons” through these checkpoints with a fake Bill of Lading and a shipper’s seal on the back doors and unless they had probable cause you were committing a crime they could not open the truck and look.

          When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns, and they’ll have both a lot of outlaws AND a lot of guns in California, no matter what laws they pass.

  3. Look for our local Aldercreatures to draft and pass anything that skirts around this in the name of “the children” to which there will be lawsuits and the customary massive novelty checks written to the suing party on behalf of Chicago taxpayers.

    Next verse, same as the first.

    Illustrating Chicago Crime, Murder and Mayhem at

    • Well, Burke and my old friend Brendan Reilly are trying to protect the children that frequent bars and restaurants that serve liquor. . .I guess they’re on their own in package stores.

      /sarc off

  4. This gives me a little more hope for when the Cook County’s Assault Weapons Ban gets back to the Illinois Supreme Court. It previously got remanded by the Illinois Supreme Court on a procedural issue.

  5. This is an amazing decision. Still digging through it, but it’s fabulous. The CDIC has been all lathered up “reasonable regulation” and figuring that they can get what they want through the back door. I think decisions like this are going to nip some of that enthusiasm. “That said, we cannot
    escape the reality that, in this case, we are dealing not with a
    reasonable regulation but with a comprehensive ban.”

  6. Shouldn’t have to wait too long for the next “gun violence” incident. I’m sure there will be some Darwinian churning of the gene pool in Chicago, NY, LA or DC today.

    • The unfortunate thing is that in places like Chicago, New York, etc. where they have almost total bans in place, they have built in the potential “gun violence” that must occur if a sudden change in the ability of individuals to carry and protect themselves comes about. There is bound to be a transition period before the criminals figure out that they are no longer dealing with unarmed victims and have to learn their lessons the hard way before they can decide on a change of career or tactics. It will be inevitable for the MSM to pick up on this as PROOF that allowing individual carry will result in bloodshed in the streets.

      My question is, has there been any other place so thoroughly restricted that has had a sudden reversal of those restrictions where we can actually see what the consequences were? Forewarned is fore-armed.

  7. Maybe I’m not getting something, and at the same time dredging up something that’s been discussed before, but I’m confused…..

    As far as I know, the second amendment is the only amendment that contains the phrase “Shall not be infringed.”

    So where in hades do these people keep coming up with “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. “

    • Because judges and justices are nothing more than lawyers who like to dress in drag.

      As such, their scheming little minds are always fixed upon the next dollar of billable hours they can make in the private sector. If a right is absolute, as the Founders (many of whom were not lawyers) intended, then where’s the need for lawyers? Lawyers love to argue the middle ground. That’s what they jaw-jack about for weeks on end, are the details in-between the two endpoints of 0.0 and 1.0.

      If a judge were to admit that “shall not be infringed” and “make no law” were actually what the Founders meant and what the courts should adhere to, then where’s the job market for lawyers in that?

  8. Another win for Illinois citizens! I read the brief and it appears that the Court used very clear language to render the AUUW law unconstitutional. It also appears that the court was unanimous in it’s decision!

    I hope this ruling causes the Guv’na and all Chicago politicians severe heartburn!

  9. Nice. There’s a hearing today for the NYSRPA suit against NY State. From what I have read, the expectation is that a trial date will be set. I don’t believe it is possible for an injunction to be granted. if you want some other good reading head over to the NYSRPA website and read the briefs filed by the plaintiffs and the state. We’ll take the country back one state at a time !

  10. This is heartening. This shows that some judges actually read law and follow it. I thought it was lost to mankind to do so. At least after watching the 9th Circuit he past twenty years it would seem that way.

  11. the real question is how this affects the other may-issue carry statutes. If the core right is self defense outside the home, how can the state require a good and substantial reason for you to exercise it?

  12. So we have splits between different Circuits regarding carry outside the home (I know this doesn’t have anything to do with that, except as a precedent to cite in future cases). Does anyone know if the SCOTUS will take this up in the next session?

  13. This is NOT a Pyrrhic victory. The entire reason any may issue law has been upheld was because they said carrying outside the home is NOT a right! In Kachalsky and Woolard both majorites said that the law would be invalid if the right to bear arms extended outside the home! This provides us with good case law for future cases. Perhaps this case will be used in the NJ SC case about may issue. We’ll see, but any ruling that says that the 2A extends outside the home is a good one.

    • Good commentary … except this case was at the Illinois State Supreme Court. I would be surprised if the United States Supreme Court referred to the Illinois State Supreme Court in a case.

      However, and this is a huge “however”, the holding in this case is a ginormous “data point” in the overall war on the right to keep and bear arms. Now armed citizens can reference the Illinois State Supreme Court’s holding in this case that unequivocally confirms a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms outside of the home.

      And perhaps equally important, the Illinois State Supreme Court’s explanation is stunningly simple and yet extremely solid. There are no verbal gymnastics involved. That makes it next easy to understand and next to impossible to pick apart.

  14. Hopefully we the younger generation can keep this stuff going in the coming years. I know that alot of my voting now revolves around someone’s belief in the second amendment. Because it’s likely that if they support that, they probably believe in a more libertarianish standing, and that the government, limited as possible is supposed to protect our rights, not tell us what they are.

  15. Carry for adults, who aren’t otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms, is now no longer illegal in Illinois!

    Until, that is, the ISP starts issuing licenses – which yesterday I would have said would be next March at the earliest.

    That timetable may be subject to change rather quickly now.

    I’m strapping on at lunchtime.


    • I think I’ll avoid tooling up for awhile. But if this gets the ISP to move things along faster, then that would be great.

    • Illinois has their recently passed concealed carry statute for outside the home. Thus I believe the State could prosecute anyone for carrying concealed in a manner that violates the provisions of the concealed carry statute. Since you do not yet have an Illinois concealed carry license, the State could bust you for that.

      As for Open Carry on the other hand, I am thinking that the state cannot bust you for that any more. Unless there are some other provisions for open carry that would be “reasonable regulations” rather than an outright ban — and I doubt there are because the law that was just struck down broadly covered possession of a handgun in any fashion — you would be good to go for open carry. We need a legal opinion pronto from an attorney who is intimately familiar with Illinois firearms laws.

      Now watch the Illinois legislature scramble to enact “reasonable regulations” on open carry.

  16. All things considered, it may well prove to be in the overall best interest of the anointed Aristocracy to put procedures in place to allow the permitting of gainfully employed members of the peasant class to carry a ‘handgun’ for their personal defense — that is, outside their humble abodes in only certain and specified places.
    The reasons for this allowance certainly include — but are not expressly limited to — the adding of more detailed information of the permitted person to the State’s data base; the acquiring of additional revenue for the State through initial and continuing taxes and fees; and the increasing of the potential of the person to perhaps fend off an attack that might otherwise result in loss of income and thus loss of contributions to the vitally-necessary tax base.
    Additionally, should a circumstance arise in which the permitted person is say, found in violation of any among the numerous and intricate regulatory laws, and / or actually discharges their firearm under some circumstance or another —the potential for the State to acquire even more revenue from the permitted person through fines and penalties for violations are also naturally increased.
    One might however, be caused to wonder why the overlords and their familiars have thus far not yet thought to also demand the signing of an ‘Oath of Fealty’ by the permitted person as a necessary requirement for this most gracious allowance.
    As a final aside, and admittedly having no idea what might have been meant —
    it has been suggested that as a general rule, one should always be at the very least, suspicious of any person who wears a robe in public.

    • See my post above. I believe this holding means that you can immediately carry an openly visible handgun … although I imagine you still need and FOID card to do so. I am not an attorney so seek legal advice before proceeding.

      Keep in mind that Illinois’ Concealed Carry Statute is in force so you could not legally (in Illinois’ opinion) carry concealed until you have an Illinois concealed carry license — which no one has yet.

      • Best make certain. Jim Crowe was known to be unconstitutional as well, but took awhile to lay to rest.

        The state will likely appeal to the Feds, and the Feds will likely refuse to hear ’em. Then he ILSC ruling will nullify the relevant statute(s).

        It’s a win, but it might tke a year or two to come into force.

        Then again, Illinois might just fold on this. Either way, make certain lest the local polizei jackboot your face into the next state over.

    • FOID CArds should be not only declared unconstitutional but also made illegal for any bureaucrat or politician to require them.

  17. Here in California we have ‘may issue’ with good cause, which is decided solely by the county sheriffs on a case-by-case basis. Self defense is not usually considered ‘good cause’ . This has led to LA County, population of over 6 million, having around 400 active permits. San Diego County, population of over 3 million, has about 700. Only a change in the law from ‘may issue’ to ‘shall issue’ will work.

  18. Well well well. I particularly like this quote from the official 11 page decision:

    “Accordingly, as the Seventh Circuit did in Moore, we here hold that, on its face, section 24-1.6(a)(1),
    (a)(3)(A) violates the right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the second amendment to the United States Constitution.” — Illinois State Supreme Court

    Pretty much all of the Armed Intelligentsia have been saying the same thing for years. And yet the overwhelming majority of us have no formal legal education or training at all … versus how many decades/centuries of combined legal education and experience on the Illinois State Supreme Court?!?!?

  19. There’s nothing unconstitutional about curtailing the 2A rights of minors. Age of Majority and all that.

    Ere adulthood, the Constitution, common law, state statutes et cetera treat kids as wards of their parents and the state rather than independent legal entities.

    Don’t like it? Amend the Constitution, then.

    However, be prepared for your 13 year old going off and marrying her teacher and you having no legal recourse…

    • It’s an incomplete analysis. Minors have rights, they are just held in trust for them by their guardians, and the guardians are responsible for how they are exercised. Followed to its logical conclusion, this means the guardian can allow the minor to exercise some of these rights under their nominal supervision. In Arizona, the law is that a minor can carry in any fashion “when accompanied by a parent, grandparent or guardian or [authorized] instructor.” Minors can carry on their guardian’s property, or for agricultural purposes, or on their own (age 14 or older) for hunting or sport shooting purposes.

      If you pick and choose your states, the laws are quite “liberal.”

    • Don’t forget abortions … our children cannot purchase medication much less prescriptions at stores and they certainly cannot authorize themselves to see their pediatrician or undergo other medical procedures without their parents. But by gosh and by gum, your 13 year old can march into an abortion clinic and get an abortion (a potentially life threatening procedure) without any parental involvement.

      Regardless of how you feel about the legality of abortion, I sincerely hope that everyone agrees it is horrifically wrong when a 13 year old can engage in life threatening medical procedures without any involvement from their parents, regardless of the specific nature of the procedure.

      But a 17 year old who wants to be able to possess a firearm? No way, no how. Abortion? Sure. Guns? Nope.

  20. Looks like conflicting rulings in lower courts are going to require Supreme Court intervention at some point. I recall MD’s shall issue law coming into question, with one court ruling that requiring a cause to exercise a right is unconstitutional, and a higher court overturning that. Now we have a split decision between the circuit and state supreme courts here on a similar issue. I see this going to the SC within the next few years.

  21. All the people of Illinois should be happy about this decision. I was very impressed by Posner’s analysis in the 7th Circuit case — especially since he is far removed from being a 2A proponent — and the Illinois Supreme Court seems to have been just as impressed as I was.

    This opinion is a winner.

    • Ralph,

      I agree as per this excerpt from my comment above, “… the Illinois State Supreme Court’s explanation is stunningly simple and yet extremely solid. There are no verbal gymnastics involved. That makes it easy to understand and next to impossible to pick apart.”

    • I can’t comment about the substantive content of your website because the graphic design and appearance prevented me from looking at it for more than about 60 seconds.

      Perhaps a more subtle neutral background rather than that bright Bluish color? Just a thought.

  22. That IL now has a “shall issue” concealed carry law on the books may have made the judicial ruminations politically easier. And yet, it is still nice to see the 2nd Amendment properly acknowledged.

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