Court to Madigan: No rehearing on concealed-carry guns ruling

SPRINGFIELD — A divided federal appeals court today rejected Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s request for a rehearing on the case where the state has been ordered to allow citizens to carry guns in public.

Madigan made the request following the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision in December that gave Illinois 180 days to put together a law that would allow concealed weapons in Illinois.

There has been no word yet from Madigan’s office on her next move. She could choose to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court or decide to let the ruling stand.

The appeals court action officially rejected Madigan’s request for a rehearing by the full court, but the denial came with a stinging dissent from four of the nine members of the appeals court who reviewed the matter. The original order came down from a three-member panel that also had a split vote.

The arguments made in the dissent, written by Judge David Hamilton, could bolster Madigan’s cause if she appeals to the nation’s high court.

“The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether .. the individual right to keep and bear arms at home under the Second Amendment extends beyond the home,” Hamilton wrote.

Illinois is the only state in the nation that does not allow citizens to carry weapons in public in some form.

Hamilton’s dissent also noted the ruling that called for Illinois to allow concealed carry is the “first decision by a federal court of appeals striking down legislation restricting the carrying of arms in public.”

He wrote that three major points are worthy of consideration by the full appellate court rather than simply the three-member panel:

*Whether to extend the right to bear arms outside the home and into the public sphere, a matter that “presents issues very different from those involved in the home itself, which is all the Supreme Court decided” in a case currently viewed as the law of the land.

*How to handle what the panel did not decide. The three-member panel left Illinois a “good deal of constitutional room for reasonable public safety measures concerning public carrying of firearms.”

*How to proceed in future decisions about laws that are more narrowly tailored and any state interests that justify some restrictions on rights.

“Where the law is genuinely in doubt, as it is likely to remain for some time under the Second Amendment, a trial court can do a great service by ensuring the development of a thorough and complete record that provides a reliable, accurate factual foundation for constitutional adjudication,” Hamilton wrote. “The federal courts are likely to do a better job of constitutional adjudication if our considerations are based on reliable facts rather than hypothesized and assumed facts.”

You can read the opinion HERE.

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