Kwame Raoul
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul (AP Photo/John O'Connor)
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By Second Amendment Foundation

Eighteen state attorneys general have joined in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a Second Amendment Foundation petition for writ of certiorari seeking high court review in the case of Culp v. Raoul, which challenges the refusal by Illinois to take applications from non-residents for an Illinois carry license.

Plaintiffs are asking the Court to determine “Whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms requires that the State of Illinois allow qualified non-residents to apply for an Illinois concealed carry license.” SAF is joined by the Illinois State Rifle Association, Illinois Carry and several private citizens. They are represented by attorney David G. Sigale of Wheaton.

Second Amendment Foundation logo SAF

The amicus brief, submitted by Missouri Attorney General Eric S. Schmitt, is joined by attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

While Illinois statute says the State Police “shall by rule allow for nonresident license applications from any state or territory of the United States with laws related to firearm ownership, possession, and carrying, that are substantially similar to the requirements to obtain a license” in Illinois.

“However,” the petition for review says, “that right to concealed carry is denied, in a discriminatory and arbitrary manner, to the law-abiding and qualified persons in 45 states, who are prohibited from even applying for an Illinois concealed carry license (“CCL”), regardless of their qualifications. Therefore, Illinois’s prohibition on virtually all non-residents obtaining a concealed carry license for self-defense violates the Petitioners’ rights under the Second Amendment.”

“We’re grateful to the 18 attorneys general for joining the amicus, on behalf of the residents of their respective states,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The right to bear arms does not end at the Illinois state line, and untold numbers of citizens from other states have occasion to travel to or through Illinois and they should not be expected to leave their right of self- defense at the border.”


The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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  1. It all comes down to one word…’substantially’. That word from ‘substantially similar’ is what the ISP has used to deny that right from out of staters.

    The fact that an Illinois license is (kindly) recognized by all contiguous states and many more beyond, has no meaning to these bureaucratics.

    The irony is they gladly accept your money when you travel to Illinois using your recognized out of state Drivers License.

    • I’ve been saying for a long time that a CCW license should be treated just like a driver’s license.

      The states won’t cooperate, so Congress needs to step in and make this happen; it’s in their constitutional wheelhouse.

    • The license recognition incongruity to which you refer is the consequence of the Full Faith and Credit clause, or more specifically the inconsistent application of it by courts. I recommend you read about it if you’re not already familiar with the full text of the Constitution, but in a nutshell it is unconstitutional for one state to refuse to recognize another’s records and licenses, such as birth certificates and marriage licenses. Without this clause, we would have states refusing to recognize each of the others’ residents US citizenships because they didn’t get a copy of the documentation of birth, and refusing to recognize marriage licenses from states which permit gay marriage when that state does not (prior to a Supreme Court opinion on that, of course.) A reasonable exception is made for certain professional licenses which are directly affected by state law (e.g. to practice law or medicine) but there is no sensible argument for licenses to bear arms being a professional capacity in which certification in one state may not qualify you in another.

      Simply put, the courts do not care about the Constitution when it comes to firearms and your right to self defense (and to defend your country in times of need) and this inconsistency is just another illustration of that.

      • ” in a nutshell it is unconstitutional for one state to refuse to recognize another’s records and licenses, such as birth certificates and marriage licenses.”

        Yeah, but here’s the ‘Inconvenient Truth’ of the situation. –

        The Leftists in the slave states are utterly inflexible in their demands that *only* with a state-issued license or permit may a citizen carry a gun.

        Their tolerance for that is equal to the intolerance they would have for nearly any other profession that they demand someone has a state-issued license to ply a trade in their jurisdiction. Similar pre-existing qualifications like not being a felon and having a government issued identification, for example.

        So, how is it any different? Not a licensed electrician and caught working on wiring, off to jail with you…

  2. Next thing u know out of state Drivers License won’t be accepted in illinoise along with denying ur right to self defense!

  3. Please note, they are NOT talking about reciprocity; they are suing for the right to apply for a non-resident carry permit.

    • And, we need to attack the states hostile to carry permits one point at a time, beginning where the arguments are the strongest Constitutionally.

      It’s well established that one state is not allowed to discriminate against residents of a different state. Why should there be an exception for gun permits? This is the fundamental question.

      Some states (e.g., NY) will accept no applications from non-residents. This is the most discriminatory. Nevertheless, such a state could argue that it knows its residents and can evaluate their worthiness to carry a gun. It can’t know non residents so well; and so, its discrimination is (a little) rational.

      Other states, such as IL, accept applications from residents of a few states, but not all states. This is actually LESS rational. How can IL claim to discriminate rationally among non-residents of NC vs. SC; or HI vs AK?

      What is still more curious is when one is required to be a RESIDENT of a particular state. E.g., RESIDENTS of SC may apply for a IL carry permit. But, if you have a Non-Resident SC permit you (apparently) don’t qualify because you aren’t a resident (by definition).

      I have a SC “Qualified” Non-Resident permit. What distinguishes my eligibility from yours? I am “Qualified” (whereas you are NOT) because I pay real-estate tax in SC. You might enjoy guessing the size of my “spread” in Columbus, SC. (As a hint, my tax bill is $8/yr). You might also wonder about the relationship between the size of my SC spread vs. the size of my groupings. (My live-fire qualification score was 100%; but it doesn’t matter. I’m not a resident.)

      Does IL’s SC resident eligibility requirement apply in any rational way to me? Does SC’s “Qualified” Non-Resident real estate requirement apply in any rational way to you?

      These seem obvious questions to litigate up to SCOTUS. And, SCOTUS is highly likely to strike-down such discriminatory laws arbitrarily disqualifying non-residents. In so doing it would erode the states’ exercise of power to deny permits and advance the right to carry above the level of a “privilege” withheld without due process of law.

      SCOTUS should be amenable to taking a case on such grounds because it could strike a blow for the 2A based on the extensive existing Constitutional law barring discrimination against non-residents.

      We need to be smart about strategy in picking cases to fund that will erode gun control laws.

  4. Hear me out here. I think that this is totally the wrong legal strategy and the plaintiffs are missing a golden opportunity.

    Various court cases are converging on the notion that openly carried firearms are the only protected way to “bear arms” in the Second Amendment. Thus, the Second Amendment does not protect concealed carry of firearms.

    Now here is where it gets interesting. Illinois bans openly carried firearms. Since Illinois did not allow openly carried firearms, the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ordered Illinois to allow concealed carry. This, however, creates a serious quandary for Illinois. States cannot license a constitutionally enumerated right and charge a fee to exercise it. While other states also require a license to carry concealed and charge a fee for it, they do not require a license and do not charge a fee for openly carried firearms — which is the protected right. Thus, Illinois either has to stop requiring a license and charging a fee to both residents and non-residents for concealed carry, or Illinois has to allow unlicensed open carry to both residents and non-residents of Illinois free of charge.

    I am certain that a LOT of Illinois politicians and bureaucrats equally loathe and despise the prospect of both free and unlicensed openly carried firearms as well as free and unlicensed carrying concealed firearms. And it sure looks (to me anyway) like federal courts are compelled to order Illinois to do one or both! Imagine how bitter that pill would be for Illinois gun-grabber politicians and bureaucrats to swallow!!!

    • Here’s to hoping the ‘NY Pistol’ transport case in front of the SCOTUS currently moots the entire arguments surrounding 2A carry outside the home. Something simple like – If you aren’t a legally prohibited person, you can carry and transport outside your home.

      I can dream, can’t I ?

      • I don’t think we should be delusionally optimistic about NYR&PA v NYC. SCOTUS is trying to move one step at a time as slowly as possible.

        I don’t think that they are going to go so far as to mandate strict scrutiny on 2A THIS time. Rather, I think they are more likely to do two things:

        1. – explicitly declare that there IS a right to BEAR arms OUTside the home; and, that to transport is a form of bearing arms. NYC’s repealed ordinance was UN-Constitutional. (This puts the word “bear” into the text of the 2A where judges can read it.) It says nothing meaningful about what the word “bear” might contemplate.

        2. – the 2nd Circuit should have been able to figure out #1 by itself. IF it thought that Intermediate Scrutiny were the appropriate standard then it failed to apply a truly robust form of Intermediate Scrutiny. Now, therefore, be it RESOLVED THAT: if lower courts can’t decide on an appropriate level of scrutiny and apply it robustly, then SCOTUS will have to call that shot in a future case, taking the last shred of control away from the Circuit courts.

        The distinction between Strict vs Intermediate Scrutiny is sharp. Very few laws survive Strict Scrutiny. There is a little room to play in Intermediate Scrutiny. So, the Circuits like to play by watering-down their analysis according to Intermediate Scrutiny.

        If SCOTUS rules #2 in NYR&PA v NYC then each Circuit will be warned that if it tries – but fails – to apply a watered-down Intermediate Scrutiny standard to a 2A case, SCOTUS will grant cert and declare Strict Scrutiny the standard applicable to 2A cases. And, that Circuit (2nd or 9th) will be shamed for having ignored the warning in NYR&PA. Thenceforth, the Circuits’ hands will be tied in having to strike most gun control laws as failing Strict Scrutiny. No Circuit will want to be accused of triggering that result. Therefore, each Circuit will try to apply robust Intermediate Scrutiny to 2A cases (or refuse to take cases) to avoid being the party pooper.

        All pure speculation on my part; but, this is how I would play it if I were Roberts. And, I think he calls the shot.

    • Politicians in Illinois don’t give a tinker’s damn about your Constitutional rights. They already violate the 2nd Amendment with their stupid FOID (Firearm Owner’s ID) card. You can’t even touch a gun, let alone carry one, if you don’t have a FOID card. Their only goal is to disarm the public because then they have more power over the citizens. Even though the Federal courts ordered Illinois to implement concealed carry, Chicago has gone out of its way to try to prohibit people from getting a concealed carry license by putting up all kinds of roadblocks. No gun shops inside the city limits, no gun ranges either. They require all kinds of stuff like range qualification to get the license, yet you can’t transport the gun outside your home, and there’s no range to go to that is convenient for citizens if you could. People use to say the most corrupt state in the union was New Jersey, but Illinois is the home of political corruption, and the home of the mob. People are bailing out of this state like rats leaving burning building.

  5. There are even PA sheriffs who also refuse to do it, even though they’re blatantly breaking the state law on the matter. It would be nice if there were an easy way to take officials to task for such things besides launching a lawsuit.

  6. Curious. Plaintiffs admit there is no right to bear arms by asking for a license to exercise a right. Then they petition a court that would presumably rely on every other decision in US history that says concealed carry is a privilege and open carry is the right. Plus, they’re petitioning a court that has no interest in 2nd amendment questions. I don’t think this will end well.

    • And that’s why the Hawaii case (Young, I recall) is so interesting.

      IF SCOTUS were to rule that they found the word “bear” in the text of the 2A then the Hawaii guy has a right to an open-carry permit. At least, a right that such a permit not be withheld unreasonably.

      That should push the 9th Circuit to proceed with hearing the Hawaii case en banc. Now they are cornered.

      IF “the right to . . . bear arms” is the right to do so OPENLY, then, the Hawaii guy gets his permit. And, other citizens are entitled to OPEN-carry permits. And, the controllers don’t want that. This drift isn’t tilting in the right direction; it’s tilting in the wrong direction.

      So, HI might feel it will be not-as-bad to go Shall-Issue on CCP.

      The stage is set to attack the other Won’t-Issue states’ laws; again, on an OPEN-carry permit application. These states too will be cornered into changing to Shall-Issue on CCP.

      • ‘Corner them’ in a similar way that the city of Chicago was ‘cornered’ to go shall-issue or the Court would declare carry without any kind of permit whatsoever would be declared?

        (If I’m communicating that clearly, I may not be…)

  7. My girlfriend needs an abortion. And she is from out of state. Where does she apply for a license/permit to get her abortion? Oh, wait, that is not a Constitutionally enumerated right. I get it. Well, I want to vote in the November 2020 elections and I just want to make sure that my fingerprints and background check are processed so that I can receive my voter registration card in time. What?! I don’t need fingerprints and a background check to exercise my Constitutionally enumerated right to vote? But in many places prohibited persons cannot vote. In no places non-citizens cannot vote. You say I need not provide any ID to exercise my right to vote, so why do I need to provide ID to exercise my right to keep and bear arms? Ok, then I guess I should not need a permission slip to exercise any other of my rights, right?

    • “You say I need not provide any ID to exercise my right to vote, so why do I need to provide ID to exercise my right to keep and bear arms?”

      Or to board a commercial airliner, for that matter.

      Strange that the Leftists aren’t demanding poor people without ID should be exempt from the TSA security lines at the airport, and I have yet to hear anyone complaining that they were unable to board that aircraft because they had no ID. Never, not once.

      The logical inconsistency is troubling…

      The fastest way to slap down the drive to lower the voting age is to demand all rights, including the right to buy alcohol and guns be tied to the same age. If they are mature enough at 16 to vote, they should be mature enough to carry a gun.

      What? 16 is too young? OK, lets make the age of maturity to be 21, or even better, 25…

      • Agreed. But why not make make 58, not 18, the age of reason. Well, until you have had a bit of experience under your belt, you should not be able to vote, drink, drive or be drafted into war.
        If you want 16 yr olds to vote, let them drink, drive, own firearms and be drafted [what, did you say the draft was ended?].
        I agree with you Geoff, all rights were created equal.


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