Carry On

Courts affirm gun carriage


In September, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a state law barring possession of loaded weapons in public. The decision, which cut against previous state appellate court rulings, followed the groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court decisions Heller v. D.C. (2008), which recognized a personal right to possess weapons for self-defense in the home, and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), which extended that doctrine to states and localities.

In the new case, Illinois v. Aguilar, the Illinois court held that the need for self-defense is not limited to the home. The court thus overthrew Illinois' carry ban, though it recognizes that the right to public carry is not inherently unregulatable. The same decision denied the plaintiff's claim that another law he was convicted of violating-one that prohibited possessing a loaded weapon while under 18 years old-also violated the Second Amendment.

As state and federal courts take a wide range of stances on the extent of the right to carry, we're likely to see the U.S. Supreme Court settle the question sometime in the near future.