Federal Court Strikes Down IL Ban On Second Amendment

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down the State of Illinois ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home or business, declaring the law as unconstitutional. The case is being funded by the National Rifle Association. The lead plaintiff in the case is Mary Shepard, an Illinois resident and trained gun owner, who is also licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Utah and Florida. The Illinois State Rifle Association is a co-plaintiff in the case.

In the ruling, Judge Richard Posner not only declared the ban unconstitutional, but said,

“One doesn’t have to be a historian to realize that a right to keep and bear arms for personal self-defense in the eighteenth century could not rationally have been limited to the home. . . . Twenty-first century Illinois has no hostile Indians. But a Chicagoan is a good deal more likely to be attacked on a sidewalk than in his apartment on the 35th floor.”

“Today’s ruling is a victory for all law abiding citizens in Illinois and gun owners throughout the country,” said Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of NRA. “The court recognized that the text and history of the Second Amendment guarantee individuals the right to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense and other lawful purposes. In light of this ruling, Mary Shepard and the people of Illinois will finally be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

"We are disinclined to engage in another round of historical analysis to determine whether eighteenth-century America understood the Second Amendment to include a right to bear guns outside the home," Judge Richard Posner wrote in the court's majority opinion.

"The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside. The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense," he continued.

In the minority opinion, Judge Ann Williams wrote that Illinois was within its rights to ban weapons in "sensitive places" like government buildings, churches and universities in the name of safety. She wrote, "The Illinois legislature reasonably concluded that if people are allowed to carry guns in public, the number of guns carried in public will increase, and the risk of firearms-related injury or death in public will increase as well. And it is also common sense that the danger is a great one; firearms are lethal."

Personally, this falls into typical liberal type logic. Think of it. If one enters a Wal-mart and is carrying concealed, what is the difference of risk than if carried in a school, government building, or church? Oh that's right there would be no more threat in either, except in those "sensitive places" people would be unarmed and defenseless.

"Today's ruling is a major victory for law-abiding Illinoisans—and for everyone who understands that the Second Amendment protects the right both to keep arms, and to bear arms," added Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "This ruling makes clear that Illinois cannot deny law-abiding residents the right to carry a firearm for self-defense outside the home. This is a step in the right direction for all gun owners. We know it probably won’t be the end of this case, and we’re ready to keep fighting until the courts fully protect the entire Second Amendment."

The case stemmed from a 2009 attack on Shepard, 69 at the time, and a co-worker Leona Mount, 76 at the time. Both women worked at the First Baptist Church of Anna, Illinois. Both women were viciously attacked and beaten by Willis Bates, a 45-year-old, 245 pound, six-foot-three-inches tall man. Both women were fortunate to survive the attack. Bates got away with a few hundred dollars.

Bates was arrested on October 5, 2009. A grand jury has indicted Willis Bates on two counts of Attempted Murder, two counts of Theft and a count of Burglary at a Place of Worship. Incidentally, as a side note, Mr. Bates was also charged with possessing a firearm as a felon, though it was apparently not used in the attacks.

Ms. Shepard's injuries required extensive surgeries and she continues physical therapy to this day attempting to recover from her injuries. Ms. Mount remained in the hospital more than a month after the attack. She was on a respirator for a time, until she could breathe on her own and had to have reconstructive surgery due to the fact that every bone in her face was shattered in the attack.

This should outrage all who read this and cause every American to demand, not only justice for these women against Bates, but also to demand that the federal government or the state government stop making it more difficult for law abiding citizens to do what the Second Amendment is supposed to protect against and that is simply be able to "keep and bear arms."

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