CHICAGO, IL (KTVI)-A federal appeals court has struck down Illinois’ ban on carrying concealed weapons, calling it unconstitutional. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals says state lawmakers have 180 days to write a new law legalizing conceal carry. The ruling is a response to a lawsuit filed by a former Champaign, IL corrections officer, a Percy, IL farmer, and the Washington state based Second Amendment Foundation.
Illinois is the only state where carrying concealed weapons is entirely illegal. Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is reviewing the ruling.
The ruling is a victory for gun rights advocates, who argue the current ban violates the Second Amendment. U.S. Representative Jerry Costello (D-Smithton) released a statement applauding the ruling. The statement read:
“Illinois has been the only state that denies its residents the right to legally protect themselves by carrying firearms, and my hope is this ruling puts us another step closer towards changing that. I stand ready to assure a concealed carry law is put on the books in Illinois to finally recognize the rights granted to law abiding citizens in the Constitution.”
Illinois State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) also praised the U.S. Court of Appeals decision. The former Madison County State's Attorney said in a statement:
"With this ruling, the Court has affirmed the right of law-abiding, responsible gun owners to defend themselves and their families, a right that does not stop at one's doorstep."