Illinois Supreme Court on Right to Carry

Following the result of the Seventh Circuit’s holding in Moore v. Madigan, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in People v. Aguilar agreeing with the results. From the opinion:

After reviewing these two lines of authority—the Illinois cases holding that section 24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A) is constitutional, and the Seventh Circuit’s decision holding that it is not—we are convinced that the Seventh Circuit’s analysis is the correct one. 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.

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. Defendant’s conviction under that section therefore is reversed.

21 thoughts on “Illinois Supreme Court on Right to Carry”

  1. Who knew?

    Turns out the state Supreme Court can read Heller, even if the legislature couldn’t…

    1. Jerk! Now I have to clean up the Diet Coke I just spit all over my keyboard!! ;-)

  2. I think the Courts also need to confront the issue of shall carry vs may carry. I don’t like the argument that just because there is a long history of violating rights that means its okay (ie with regard to regulating concealed carry), but I’ll concede that for now. If there is a right to keep and bear arms, and central to that right is self defense, and that right also includes allowing carrying of guns inside AND outside the home- then any regulation of concealed carry must be looked at under strict scrutiny, and must be very narrowly tailored. 

    This means that may issue laws are invalid, and only shall issue laws are allowed. Also, while training requirements may be allowed, excessive costs and excessive regulations (ie all the places that can’t be carried, magazine capacity restrictions, bans on entire classes of firearms) are not. 

  3. Go read todays coram decision about restoring the rights of those convicted of DV another win

    1. Yeah, I read a little about that, but I didn’t have time to read the opinion. Even this one, I just skimmed it. Today is a big deadline for our Friends of NRA banquet, and I’m trying to finish the last minute cleaning before my mother visits tomorrow. Sebastian is off at work training all day, so that’s getting pushed off until tonight.

        1. Yes. We just need to double check with everyone on Tuesday, but I do believe we just sold out of tickets. As the ticket mentioned, it would be drawn on or before Sept. 30. Well, since I believe we’re out of tickets, we’ll draw the next time the committee is together, which happens to be the night of our dinner. If our Field Rep will allow us draw early enough in the evening, then I will see if someone from the committee can give the winners a call or email that night. If we have to wait, then someone will do it the next day.

  4. The Supreme Court still didn’t get the 2A right, though they did strike down the absolute ban on guns in D.C. But really, why can’t the courts at all levels understand the plain language of the 2A itself? Why do they all have to “interpret” it into something unrecognizable?

    1. But really, why can’t the courts at all levels understand the plain language of the 2A itself? Why do they all have to “interpret” it into something unrecognizable?

      My thoughts exactly.

    2. Because all legal language is always and must always be “interpreted”.

      (e.g. from the founding onward, nobody thought that the First Amendment protected fraudulent speech, or that the Second Amendment meant you couldn’t disarm prisoners.

      But the “plain language” doesn’t make any such exceptions.

      Thus, it’s unavoidable to have someone interpreting it.

      Indeed, it’s unavoidable in any case, since language only has meaning through interpretation.

      [Paging Jeff Goldstein!])

    3. The only interpretation necessary is to account for the drift in the meaning of words over time. For instance, thge term well-regulated back then was understood to mean well functioning, organized, etc.
      It does not mean regulated to death via bureacratic restrictions!

      My favorite part is the obsession with the militia definition which we know meant able-bodied men for the common defense and not the National Guard that had yet to be invented.

      A little respect for the timeline and the eloquent use of words and the intent is clear. It was, after all, written to be used by the common man.

  5. Another possible chit for a Woollard cert: two courts of last resort disagreeing on a question of enumerated fundamental rights.

    Maryland’s highest court said point blank there was not a right to carry in public, and that RKBA per Heller was restricted specifically to the home.

    Now Illinois has answered the question quite differently.

    As much as we talk about “two Americas”, these different outcomes based on geography and political borders results in an untenable constitutional issue that requires rectification by the final court of last resort.

    Hope we like the outcome.

  6. What is amazing is that the defendant was NOT a good guy. Not even close. These are typically the cases that we lose on RKBA grounds, because the defendant is so repugnant.

  7. What one should remember when reading interpretations of Heller v. DC and McDonald v. Chicago is that these cases were carefully crafted to get the Supreme Court of the United States to admit in writing that (1) Self defense is an inherent, inalienable, individual right at least equal to the privacy advocated by pro-abortionists and “found” in Roe v. Wade to have such far-reaching results; (2) the 2nd Amendment has as its purpose the enabling of individual self defense through use of “arms” against violent criminals or tyrannical government; (3) the states are bound by the 2nd Amendment against infringing self defense through arms.

    Now that we have those issues answered, details are being worked out: shall/may issue, concealed vs open carry, time/place/manner of bearing arms.

    Legislatures are the place these issues are supposed to be worked out, within an understanding of the individual rights limiting the laws proposed by any partisan group or political philosophy. The problem today is that one party has abrogated completely an adherence to the Constitutional limits placed upon proposed legislation, and the other party seems not to mind that they are doing that.

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