Illinois Gun-Carry Ban Challenged in Court


In another case that should be of great importance in shaping the post-Heller and McDonald landscape of permissible regulation of Second Amendment rights, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) (which fought and won McDonald v. Chicago, the 2010 Supreme Court case that established that the Second Amendment applied to state and local governments as well as the federal one) is suing to challenge Illinois' statewide ban on carrying weapons in public.

From the SAF press release:

The lawsuit alleges that Illinois statutes that completely ban the carrying of handguns for self-defense are "inconsistent with the Second Amendment." Joining SAF are two private citizens, Michael Moore of Champaign and Charles Hooks of Percy. Named as defendants are Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and State Police Superintendent Patrick Keen. SAF is represented by attorneys David Jensen and David Sigale. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

"Illinois is currently the only state in the country that imposes a complete prohibition on the carrying of firearms for personal protection by its citizens," said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. "The state legislature recently stopped, by a thin margin, a concealed carry measure. After the 2008 Heller ruling and last year's McDonald ruling against the City of Chicago that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states, one would think that Illinois lawmakers would act quickly to comply with court decisions and the constitution."….

The lawsuit insists this case is not an attempt to force Illinois into some regulatory scheme, but only to clarify that the state's current regulatory ban on firearms carry is impermissible under the Second Amendment.

"Every other state has some kind of regulatory scenario," Gottlieb noted. "Even in Wisconsin, where there is no concealed carry statute, the state attorney general has recognized that open carry is legal. Only Illinois makes it statutorily impossible for average private citizens to carry firearms for self-defense.

The case is called Moore v. Madigan. SAF's complaint as filed with the District Court here. The legal root of the complaint:

This action for deprivation of civil rights under color of law challenges Illinois' statutory prohibitions on "Unlawful Use of Weapons" (720 ILCS 5/24-1) and  "Aggravated  Unlawful Use of Weapons" (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6) to the extent that they prohibit otherwise qualified private citizens from carrying handguns for the purpose of self-defense.  Plaintiffs seek  a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, and attorney's fees and costs.

I've been chronicling the shifts in Second Amendment law here at Reason for a while. My December 2008 feature article on Heller; my October 2010 feature article on McDonald.

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  1. Joining SAF are two private citizens, Michael Moore

    That is an unfortunate name.

  2. Holy shit, Michael Moore changed his mind after seeing that awful “Bowling for Columbine” movie!

    1. I now say something I vowed not to say a long time ago. Huray for Michael Moore!

  3. So they found lots of porn in bin Laden’s bunker. No surprise, but we are finding a consistent thread among al Qaeda. Several of the terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks went to strip clubs beforehand. Bin Laden does Internet porn.

    Has anyone thought about using porn stars to infiltrate al Qaeda?

    1. Wait.

      I thought the “compound” was off the net.

      Did the courier bring it in?

      1. Came pre-installed on his Porn Star 69?

        1. You know, you could put a NSFW disclaimer on that. At least there’s no black background to horrify coworkers.

          1. It’s NSFWish. Technically, there’s no nudity.

          2. Looks like it might’ve been something other than computer porn. Primitive.

          3. Am I ready for the Urkobold yet?

            1. That’s like asking if you’re ready for torture.

              1. Oh, so the answer is yes. Got it.

        2. It’s so bright! Why you hate my poor programmer eyes?

          1. You’re too late. The poll and the focus groups preferred black on white by a significant margin.

            1. God, next you’ll ask me to go outside before 10 PM.

              1. Maybe we can send you some cheap sunglasses.

    2. I hope they find some homemade porn with the big guy dressed in assless leather chaps and a choker getting his nipples twisted.. or somesuch odd fetish.

      1. Probably would end terror as we know it.

        1. …or the entire terror network and its supporters might decide to emulate his proclivities. I can see it now, hundreds of jihadists taking to the streets in protest in leather vests and assless chaps… it would be more effective than a bomb; I’d die from laughter.

      2. Well, he did just star in a snuff film, so he is obviously into fetish.

        1. Maybe the reason Hillary had her hand over her face in shock during that staged photo of the “kinetic unlawful entry” was because big guy had a bull-whip up his ass… okay, I’ve said enough.

  4. It’s simple. “Bear” can mean to tolerate or endure. So the right to ‘bear arms’ means the right to endure the shame of being bitter enough to have a gun locked up and disassembled in their home.

    1. Shouldn’t that include the right to ‘cling’ to arms as well?

  5. Illinois is currently the only state in the country that imposes a complete prohibition on the carrying of firearms for personal protection by its citizens

    Bullshit – New Jersey allows the local police chief to decide whether you get to carry if you have what he considers a good reason (self defense doesn’t do it) so it effectively bars ordinary citizens from carrying.

    1. However, New Jersey does not completely prohibit carry. This slight technical distinction can be the difference between a constitutional regulatory scheme and an unconstitutional one.

      1. New Jersey de facto prohibits carry for all ordinary cirizens based on arbitrary and capricious criteria. New Jersey “makes it statutorily impossible for average private citizens to carry firearms for self-defense.” So I don’t see how this really passes 2nd Amendment muster.

        1. I think courts tend to rule on de jure prohibitions as opposed to de facto ones. Not that that’s right, and Heller seems to dispute that, but I can’t think of another de facto ban where the SC took up the case. Also, that was DC, which opens up a lot of other shit, since there are no state laws to contend with.

    2. Incremental change:

      (1) Get a ruling that the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms can be stretched to encompass bearing arms.

      (2) With that in hand, go for a ruling that no Constitutional right can be subjected to the complete discretion of the government, so that it is unconstitutional for “a local police chief to decide whether you get to carry if you have what he considers a good reason”.

      1. Get a ruling that the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms can be stretched to encompass bearing arms.

        I agree this would be effective, but getting such a ruling in New Jersey’s far-left courts would be impossible.

        1. Not true because courts are above politics.


      2. Looking forward to the day where I don’t have to get a LEO signature to buy a Title II firearm.

      3. Or a civil rights discrimination case, given how closely the “need” for a gun permit or carry license is related to being socially elite.

  6. The state legislature recently stopped, by a thin margin, a concealed carry measure.

    The “thin margin” was a vote of 65 to 32 in favor of concealed carry. Unfortunately the bill needed 71 votes to pass, an Illinois requirement for legislation that restricts local communities’ regulatory power.

    In other news Chicago’s Mayor Daily, who campaigned vigorously against concealed carry, is requesting a retinue of at least three around-the-clock Chicago Police bodyguards from his mayoral security detail after he retires.

    1. Well, to be fair, I’m sure there are plenty of folks who would love to kick his crooked ass.

    2. It would be sweet if, instead of giving him a permanent goon squad, the City gave him a nicely engraved pistol as a retirement gift.

      1. I hope it is one of those cheapo pistols that the allies air dropped to resistance movements in WWII. The type whose firing mechanism was exposed in the handle so it would snap on the palm of your hand when fired.

        1. The Liberator pistol. Firing replicas are being made and can be had through Vintage Ordnance. I saw one at Knob Creek this spring. Pretty steep price for what it is, but might make a nice item for a WWII collection.

          1. Wow. 6,600% price increase.

      2. And then arrested him for carrying it.

      3. Or give him the goon squad, but prohibit them from carrying. Nothing like being protected by pissed-off guards.

  7. prohibit otherwise qualified private citizens from carrying handguns for the purpose of self-defense.

    No law abiding citizen would legitimately need or want a handgun for self-defense with the Chicago PD keeping him safe. That’s just silly.

  8. instead of giving him a permanent goon squad, the City gave him a nicely engraved pistol as a retirement gift.

    A flintlock.

    1. Nah, too reliable. Give him a matchlock.

  9. Here’s another question of state overreach.

    How can a state Department of Child Support Services get the US State Dept to not issue a passport if a person owes back child support? Is there a law on the books that allows this, or was it an executive action?

    What if the person wants a passport to take a religious pilgrimage or to do mission work in accordance to his beliefs? Are his 1st Amendment rights being fucked over?

    Any word from our resident legal scholars would be appreciated.

    1. Good question. IIRC, Bill Clinton sort of federalized the child support issue with the new-hire registry.…..aves-.html

      1. Yeah, nobody in the Passport Office can answer that question for me. They pass the question off to the state DCS and the state DCS says the AG handles it. Call the AG and ask how they can do that without a felony charge and they pass it off to the State Dept and the cicrle starts again.

        Contested child support unresolved.
        No due process.
        No felony conviction or pending charges.

        It’s utterly impossible for me to understand how they could do this, and I’m not about to pay up until the support order issue is resolved, which has gone through three jurisdictions due to me and her moving to different states.

        Any resident lawyers want to do some pro bono work?

        1. You had me until “pro bono”. 😉

          Seriously, that blows. I have absolutely zero expertise in that area, being highly specialized in a completely different area.

          I find that email is a useful tool in negotiating bureaucratic clusterfucks. On occasion, forwarding an increasingly long and bizarre chain of emails can actually be effective in putting a stop to the buckpassing.

          1. You had me until “pro bono”. 😉

            That’s a shocker…(I keed)

            Yeah, the e-mail thingy doesn’t work unless you have someone to e-mail. My contact at DCSS in VA passed me off to DHS in CA when the case was moved here. DHS in CA refers me to the AG office in VA, who in turn says the case was adjudicated in GA, so it belongs to them. The AG in GA tells me their case is closed, and was transferred to VA, who says the case is not theirs either, but rather is CA’s, who again refers me to the “no-issue order” that was generated in VA, whose AG office (Ken Cuccinelli) says they issued the order and cannot rescind it, even though I no longer owe any money through their DCSS. They also cannot tell me how to go about rescinding it, as CA courts have no jurisdiction over them.

            I think I will never be able to get a passport again because three bureaucracies are operating on different wavelengths. It has actually cost me a fair bit of money because it kept me from travelling to Dubai for business a couple of times. I honestly think my only recourse is to claim religious discrimination based on my desire to travel to Rome, the Holy Land or some shithole in latin America to bang hot poor chicks do mission work. If I could only get one of them fuckers to assume responsibility, I’d have a shot.

  10. [Cartman wears a full body submergance suit connected to an extremely long hose while walking through downtown Chicago. Two natives wearing windbreakers and White Sox caps and sporting early 90’s style scraggly goatees wolf down some slices of deep dish on a patio outside of a Stokey’s]

    First dude to the second: We are more of a Canadian city than an American city.

  11. The NRA has also filed a lawsuit.

    The National Rifle Association is funding and supporting a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of Illinois’ complete and total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home. The case, filed Friday, May 13, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, is Shepard v. Madigan. The lead plaintiff is church treasurer Mary Shepard; joining her is the Illinois State Rifle Association, the NRA’s state affiliate.

    Mary Shepard is an Illinois resident and a trained gun owner with no criminal record, who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in two other states. Because Illinois remains the only state that completely prohibits all law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home, Mary Shepard also became a crime victim. While working as the treasurer of her church, Mrs. Shepard and an 83-year-old co-worker were viciously attacked and beaten by a six-foot-three-inch, 245-pound man with a violent past and a criminal record. Mrs. Shepard and her co-worker were lucky to survive, as each of them suffered major injuries to the head, neck and upper body. Mrs. Shepard’s injuries required extensive surgery and physical therapy.


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  13. Not surprised to find this in IL. They still haven’t changed anything from the Heller case.


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