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A federal court ruling tossing out Illinois' ban on concealed weapons might end the last such gun prohibition in the country, but not without a fight.

The question is whether the battle will be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has been silent on the issue of concealed weapons, or a legislative confrontation over the court's order that Illinois adopt a law allowing concealed carry with "reasonable limitations" as in other states.

Gun control advocates urged Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to quickly appeal the ruling Tuesday by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Illinois' ban is unconstitutional. Madigan's office said she is studying the issue. But the ban's defenders said they were more certain of fireworks over a second part of the ruling , an order for the Illinois Legislature to come up with a law legalizing the concealed carry of weapons within 180 days.

"I expect a battle," said House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, a longtime gun control advocate. "The proponents of concealed carry have not yet carried the day."

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The gun rights backers interpreted the 2-1 appellate court ruling as a mandate instructing lawmakers to pass a bill allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons in public with few if any restrictions. Todd Vandermyde, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, said gun control advocates could forget any limits such as partial bans near places such as day care centers and schools.


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Several <span style="font-weight: bold">members of the Chicago City Council</span> said Wednesday they hope Madigan will appeal the ruling. However, that may be a long shot given the Supreme Court's recent history that includes striking down Chicago's handgun ban. <span style="font-weight: bold">They also said the city has the authority to ban or restrict concealed weapons.</span>

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Judge Richard Posner wrote in the majority appellate opinion that Illinois doesn't have "some unique characteristic of criminal activity" that provides an excuse for not joining the rest of the nation when it comes to concealed weapons.

But the majority included the 180-day stay of its ruling to "allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public," Posner wrote. The fight in the Legislature would be over what constitutes "reasonable limitations."

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Some gun control advocates believe their best chance is with the Supreme Court. It could be a long shot, given the court's rulings in the last few years , one overturning Chicago's 28-year-old handgun ban , that citizens have a Second Amendment right to have a gun for self-defense in their homes.

Flynn Currie said she is encouraged by the court's silence on the right to carry concealed weapons and wants Madigan to appeal the ruling.

The Supreme Court's rulings on the Second Amendment were "very limited, saying the home is your castle, and it didn't apply to other places," she said. "For that reason, it's worth checking on that question."




http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politi...geforfight.html
 
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