So today the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said the state's ban on carrrying a weapon in public is unconsitutional.
Illinois happens to be the last state to have no version of a concealed carry for handguns. Wisconsin passed their version of concealed carry a year ago.
Now this doesn't mean that immeadialty people can start packing heat, the judge is giving state lawmakers 180 days to make their case and put a new ban in place.
I have a little background in firearms for I spent a short amount of time in Will County (prior to living here), as a retail salesperson (and sales lead), in a big box sporting goods store selling outdoors gear, including firearms and ammunition. It was an eye opening experience but I do have a background with outdoors as an Eagle Scout, so I can handle a piece but seeing the process of selling fireams, inclduing the paperwork, waiting period for weapons sales (24 hours for long guns, 72 hours for hand guns), makes you appreciate the laws in place. The James Brady Bill in particular and our own state's process for checking potential gun buyers.
In other states that allow a form of "carry", its similiar to the process to obtaining our states FOID (Firearm Owners Identification Card and yes I have one), though honestly most states do not have a FOID program. Without a doubt our state has the toughest gun laws in the country, though you can see it does not help the crime problem in Chicago. But it does
Now the first argument is, would allowing people to "carry", solve or do anything for the crime problem not only in Chicago but other problematic areas?
I'll be honest, when going to my old area of West Pullman (especially at night), it would be nice to "have a piece" on me. But is that just steel courage? Will that give me a false sense of security?
I admit though I have loved ones living in crime ridden areas I do not and I'm not sure even if something were to happen criminally with my relatives, would I quickly be able to act and not hurt my loved ones or act irrationally or not use common sense?
But I think those of us that have to deal with the war zone that parts of the the south side have become are willing to go through the process to legally "carry".
I mean just in the last few days two off duty Chicago Police officers have been robbed. Now true that means these thugs will come after anyone but also does it mean that a gun is enough? Though I am mostly liberal, I have to keep my loved ones safe and to do my family duty (as well as protect myself), I need to at least "have protection", because honestly, it seems like that's the only way to have a chance.
So I welcome today's ruling and would wait anxiously to see how this plays out with the lawmakers because these same polticians aren't doing anything to help protect people on the means streets in a lot of urban areas in this state.