As Gun Owners We Are Heading Into The Fight of Our Lives!
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!!
Chicago legislators want to ban common, everyday, self-defense, and hunting firearms under the guise of calling them "assault weapons". Chicago legislators want to pass a carry law that is "so restrictive that it's essentially non-existent". Chicago legislators want to defy the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals which gave them 180 days to pass a reasonable carry law!
To make sure this does not happen, firearm owners and Second Amendment supporters must make their voices heard in Springfield at the State Capitol.
Mark Your Calendars! Schedule the day off from work!
Join the largest Right to Carry march in history!
"IGOLD" - Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day
Wed. March 6, 2013 Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield, IL
10:30 a.m. - Doors Open 11:00 a.m. Concessions Open Noon - Legislative Briefing 1:15 p.m. March to the State Capitol!! 4:00 pm After Party at Vinegar Hill Mall 107 W. Cook St. (2 blocks south of Capitol Bldg.)
Reserve a seat on one of the many charter buses at www.IGOLD.isra.org.
IGOLD t-shirts, hoodies, and caps available online and at the PCCC the day of the event!
Major Victory In Illinois! Court Rules Ban on Right to Carry UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!
Dec. 11, 2012 - The U. S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals handed pro-carry advocates a huge victory in a 2-1 ruling today. The court declared the state's ban on the Right to Carry unconstitutional. The court remanded Shepard vs Madigan and Moore vs Madigan back to their respective U.S. District Courts with a directive mandating the courts deem the ban unconstitutional and ordered them to grant a permanent injunction against the ban in both cases. The 7th Circuit justices also granted a 180 day stay on that decision to allow the state legislature time to pass a reasonable Right to Carry law. The Illinois Attorney General's office can request an en banc ruling from the entire panel of 7th Circuit judges or appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. IllinoisCarry extends its appreciation and gratitude to the Second Amendment Foundation and attorneys Alan Gura and David Sigale for representing IllinoisCarry and other plaintiffs in the Moore vs Madigan lawsuit. IllinoisCarry would also like to thank the Illinois State Rifle Association, the NRA, and their attorneys for defending Mary Shepard in Shepard vs Madigan. Thank you to Dick Heller, Otis McDonald, and Rhonda Ezell for their landmark rulings which laid the foundation for the ruling delivered today. Thank you to these great patriots whose trailblazing Second Amendment victories made today possible.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012, a U.S. District Court judge in Chicago, IL ruled yet another part of the Chicago gun ordinance unconstitutional.
The ordinance requires a Chicago specific permit in order to possess a handgun in one's home. Shawn Gowder was denied a permit on the basis of a 1995 non-violent misdemeanor of possessing a handgun inside the city. Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan ruled the ordinance too vague and stated in his ruling:
“There is something incongruent about a nonviolent person, who is not a felon but who is convicted of a misdemeanor offense of simple possession of a firearm, being forever barred from exercising his constitutional right to defend himself in his own home in Chicago against felons or violent criminals,”.
Attorneys for the City of Chicago have not said whether or not they plan to appeal the ruling. For a link to the entire decision or to join in the discussion about this important judicial win, please stop by the IllinoisCarry.com discussion forum.
Shawn, who is an IllinoisCarry member, said in response to the ruling, "I am so happy to be apart of IllinoisCarry and the 2A Family. Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way."
IllinoisCarry would like to thank Shawn Gowder for taking on Chicago and fighting for our Second Amendment rights, the Illinois State Rifle Association for their involvement in this case and Todd Vandermyde, Illinois' NRA contract lobbyist.
Fri. June 8, 2012 It was an exciting morning in court. The lawsuits challenging the ban on carrying in IL (Moore vs Madigan and Shepard vs Madigan) were heard in 7th Circuit Court of Appeals before Justices Posner, Flaum, and Williams.
The two cases were heard jointly. Attorneys for each case were allowed 10 minutes to present their argument against the Illinois ban on carrying a loaded firearm when away from your home or place of business.
Questions from a panel of three justices were interesting, challenging, and lively. The attorneys for the IL Attorney General were pressed hard to prove the ban on carrying is constitutional and their responses came up lacking on every question.
For a link to the audio recording of the proceedings and to follow this case, visit the IllinoisCarry discussion forum about this important issue.
A ruling is expected from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals by early August.
June 5, 2012 - Oral arguments for the two lawsuits challenging the ban on carrying a firearm in public for personal protection, Moore vs Madigan and Shepard vs Madigan, are set to be heard Friday, June 8, 2012 at 9 a.m. in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, 219 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60604. The two cases will be heard jointly. Attorneys for each case will be allowed 10 minutes to present their argument against the Illinois ban on carrying a loaded firearm when away from your home or place of business. Audio of the proceedings is expected to be available later in the day after the hearing. Follow this important case by visiting the IllinoisCarry discussion forums.
May 6, 2012 If all goes as expected, oral arguments will be heard in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals by the end of May or first week of June for two lawsuits, Shepard vs Madigan and Moore vs Madigan. Both lawsuits challenge the Illinois ban on carrying firearms for self-defense.
The state's request for more time to prepare has been denied, with only a one week extension granted. It seems the court is interested in hearing this case a soon as possible and does not want any unnecessary delays.
From Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook: "Order re: Motions to consolidate and extend time. The motions to consolidate are DENIED. Appellees do not need a formal order of consolidation in order to file one brief addressing two appeals. They may file one brief, or two, at their option. The motions for an extension of time is GRANTED, but only until May 9, 2012 (in both appeals). This should allow enough time to prepare a single brief covering the two cases. Appellees previously told the court that the two suits are functionally identical. There is accordingly no need for time beyond the 30-day extension already granted, and this one-week increment. The court’s last regular sitting of the current term is June 8, 2012. If the court were to delay the appellees’ briefs until June 1 or June 11 (the alternate dates appellees propose), that would postpone oral argument until next September, an unnecessary delay. Appellees must file their brief (or briefs) in both cases by May 9, and appellants their reply briefs by May 23. That will permit oral argument the last week of May or the first full week of June."
This could mean a ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals being issued as soon as early August.
Today, U.S. District Judge William Stiehl dismissed Shepard vs Madigan, a lawsuit filed on behalf of Mary Shepard, who is seeking the right to carry a firearm for personal protection. You can read the decision and follow the discussion here on IllinoisCarry.com.
Quoting Judge Stiehl:
"Accordingly, the Court FINDS that the plaintiffs' claim that the provisions of the State of Illinois' Unlawful Use of a Handgun and Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Handgun statutes do not violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution because the bearing of a firearm outside the home is not a core right protected by the Second Amendment. Therefore, the Court GRANTS defendants' motions to dismiss . . . ."
Mary, an elderly southern IL woman, filed the lawsuit after being savagely beaten, while working in her church, by a paroled felon. Mary had previously gone through the training and qualification process for two licenses to carry issued by other states and was a Right to Carry license holder at the time she and an 80 year old female co-worker were beaten and left for dead. However, Illinois law bans civilians from carrying a firearm for personal protection and does not recognize licenses from other states.
Late today, a federal district court in Illinois wrongly ruled that the Second Amendment does not protect a right to protect[sic] firearms for self-protection outside the home. The NRA funded this challenge to Illinois' ban on citizens' ability to carry firearms legally outside their homes and businesses for self-defense, and will also be supporting an immediate appeal to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals--and to the Supreme Court if necessary.
The decision in the case of Shepard v. Madigan misreads the Supreme Court's Second Amendment decisions and will continue to deprive law-abiding Illinoisans of the right to protect themselves effectively against crime on the streets. It also conflicts with a growing body of case law elsewhere in the country, where courts have increasingly recognized that the right to bear arms for self-defense doesn't end at Americans' front doors.
"The NRA's legal efforts will not end until the right to carry firearms for self-defense is fully recognized throughout our land," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.
You can help IllinoisCarry.com in the Fight for Right to Carry!
IllinoisCarry will be sponsoring and co-sponsoring very important Right to Carry events in the coming months. Resources are needed for fliers, supplies, location and booth rental fees, etc.. You can be a part of these important events by contributing to the cause with your dollars. Be a part of bringing Right to Carry to Illinois - whether it's in a big way or a small way - it all helps to reach the goal! We can't do it without you!!
Feb. 6, 2012 Judge Sue Myerscough, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, Springfield Division, has granted IL Attorney General Lisa Madigan's motion to dismiss the Second Amendment Foundation's challenge of the statewide ban on carrying a firearm for personal protection. On Friday, Feb. 4th, 2012, Judge Myerscough stated in her opinion:
"This Court finds that the Illinois “Unlawful Use of Weapons” and “Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon” statutes do not violate Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. The United States Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit have recognized only a Second Amendment core individual right to bear arms inside the home."
SAF Attorney David Jensen immediately filed an appeal on behalf of the plaintiffs Michael Moore, Charles Hooks, Peggy Fechter, Jon Maier, Second Amendment Foundation, Inc., and Illinois Carry. The appeal will move the case to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In response to the judge's ruling Alan Gottlieb, SAF Executive Director, made this statement, "We look forward to winning this important case on appeal even if it means going back to the United States Supreme Court for a third time. The Second Amendment does NOT say, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed except outside your home or that it only applies inside your house. We don't check our constitutional rights at the front door."
To follow the progress of the Moore VS Madigan challenge to the ban on Right to Carry in Illinois, go to IllinoisCarry.com.
Second Amendment Foundation's Gun Rights Activist of the Year!
*****Last weekend, a few hundred hard-core civil rights activists gathered in Chicago for the Gun Rights Policy Conference to spend two days listening to grassroots activists and organizers, authors, scholars, lawyers, politicians and others speak about the state of "gun rights" in these United States. The authors talked about books, the lawyers talked about cases before the courts, and the activists, including Illinois Carry's own Spokesperson Valinda Rowe, spoke about activism . . . but first, the SAF had something to say about her: Valinda has been selected as the SAF's Second Amendment Activist of the Year.
The choice is an apt one; without Valinda Rowe and her steadfast husband, Mike, Illinois Carry would likely be unrecognizable. The SAF cited accomplishments like IGOLD, Right-to-Carry town hall meetings in Chicago and across Illinois, and the key role Valinda has played in recruiting plaintiffs who've made history in courtrooms from Springfield to Chicago to Washington, D.C.
Congratulations, Valinda Rowe, from all of us at Illinois Carry!
Words by Don Gwinn . . . Photograph by Chris Conmy.
David Lawson's name may be familiar; David and his wife, Colleen, along with Adam Orlov and Otis MacDonald, defeated the city of Chicago and overturned its ban on handgun ownership in 2010's MacDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court decision. But it wasn't long after that landmark that the city began denying Lawson's registrations again. The Chicago Police Department even told Lawson that four SKS rifles were ineligible for registration in the city because they violated the city's "assault weapons" ban with features like removable magazines. Lawson pointed out that his rifles had fixed magazines . . . and was told that they could be modified, therefore probably would be modified into "assault weapons" at some future time, so they would simply refuse to register them at present. Lawson retained attorney Joel Brodsky and took the city to court. With the help of expert witness Andre Queen of Illinois Carry and Fidelity Investigative Training Academy, he showed that his rifles do not violate even Chicago's "assault weapons ban," but it wasn't easy. First, Lawson had to win the fight for a court order to be allowed to bring the rifles into court as evidence at all. Then Queen had to do what the city's "expert" police officers refused to do--touch the rifles and give evidence for his testimony. But in the end it's Lawson 2, Chicago 0, and if you're wondering whether your fixed-magazine SKS can be owned legally in Chicago as long as you jump through all the hoops, the answer is now "yes, even if your name is David Lawson."
After the McDonald v. Chicago decision made it clear that Chicago's ban on handguns could not stand, the city under Mayor Daley responded with a new set of regulations that technically allow citizens to own handguns . . . but require onerous registration, paperwork, costs and fees, training and range time--but also prohibit the operation of ranges open to the public in Chicago. Chicago residents Rhonda Ezell, Joseph Brown and William Hespen joined the Second Amendment Foundation and the IL State Rifle Association, bringing Ezell v. Chicago to force Chicago's mayor and city council to allow the operation of safe, legal firing ranges where Chicago citizens can practice, plink and train.
Yesterday, Chicago's new mayor, Rahm Emmanuel, reversed Mayor Daley's course and bowed to reality; with the 7th Circuit ready to rule against Chicago any day, he pushed an ordinance through the city council to allow firing ranges in Chicago. However, critics note that Emmanuel's ordinance limits ranges to manufacturing zones and prohibits ranges within 1000 feet of any residential zone, as well as "any school, day-care facility, park, place of worship, any premises licensed for the retail sale of liquor, children's activities facility, library, museum or hospital." The ordinance also flatly prohibits outdoor and mobile ranges, bars ranges from allowing anyone under 18 to enter for any reason, and requires ranges to maintain outdoor and indoor video surveillance systems, and "Recordings from the surveillance camera required by clause(ii)shall be maintained for not less than 30 days and shall be made available to members of the department of police."
Today, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in Ezell v. Chicago and, unsurprisingly, gave the city a swift kick:
We reverse. The court’s decision turned on several legal errors. To be fair, the standards for evaluating Second Amendment claims are just emerging, and this type of litigation is quite new. Still, the judge’s decision reflects misunderstandings about the nature of the plaintiffs’ harm, the structure of this kind of constitutional claim, and the proper decision method for evaluating alleged infringements of Second Amendment rights. On the present record, the plaintiffs are entitled to a preliminary injunction against the firing‐range ban. The harm to their Second Amendment rights cannot be remedied by damages, their challenge has a strong likelihood of success on the merits, and the City’s claimed harm to the public interest is based entirely on speculation.
So, has Mayor Emmanuel successfully sidestepped the 7th Court's decision by passing his backpedaling ordinance the day before their ruling against him was issued? Time will tell, but if the goal was to get out of court and avoid fighting a loser of a case, Emmanuel's ordinance may not go far enough. What do you think?
Illinois Carry has always maintained that to restore and maintain our Second Amendment rights efforts must include advancing the cause through legislative, electoral, and judicial means. Illinois Carry is pleased to join in the judicial process.
Illinois Carry welcomes the SAF lawsuit along with another suit filed by the Illinois State Rifle Association on behalf of Mary Shepard, a concealed carry license holder who was the victim of a violent assault. (Mary holds licenses from two states and has completed five training courses, but is of course legally denied the right to carry her firearm for self-defense in Illinois.)
Our hope is that together these cases will send a strong message to elected officials in Springfield, Cook County and Chicago that if they refuse to restore our rights through the legislative process, we will petition the courts for those rights.
Our thanks to Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation and Todd Vandermyde of the National Rifle Association for their tireless efforts to restore the Second Amendment to the good people of Illinois.
Ready to join the conversation about your rights in Illinois? Both Illinois right-to-carry lawsuits are under discussion in their own Illinois Carry forum threads:
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):
Illinois gun control advocates and their allies in the General Assembly delivered a "triple-whammy" against public safety recently when they sabotaged passage of HB148.
Under the provisions of HB148, well-trained, well-qualified Illinois citizens would be permitted to carry defensive firearms to protect themselves and their families from violent criminals. At the same time, HB148 would have provided upwards of $40 million in permit fees to the Illinois State Police to pay for upgrades to the state's antiquated gun buyer background check system.
But, thanks to the short-sighted efforts of the gun control movement and its friends in the Illinois House, tens of thousands of law-abiding Illinois citizens will continue to suffer at the hands of murderers, robbers and rapists because they cannot lawfully defend themselves. Likewise, the gun control movement can take credit for saddling the state police with a background check system based on software developed in 1959.
Rounding out the triple whammy-against the citizens of Illinois is the fact that the actions of gun control advocates are to blame for a pair of lawsuits filed this week in federal court against the State of Illinois. Both lawsuits – one filed by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), the other filed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the ISRA – contend that the state is damaging law-abiding citizens by prohibiting the carrying of defensive firearms.
In a nut shell, the gun control movement's efforts the kill HB148 have ensured that Illinois remains one of the most dangerous places to live in the United States. In addition to causing the loss of $40 million for better background checks, the gun control movement is now responsible for Illinois having to shell out millions in taxpayer dollars to pay legal bills related to the SAF and NRA/ISRA lawsuits. Once again, the extremist views of the gun control movement are costing the good people of Illinois dearly.
"The ISRA is very excited about being a plaintiff in the NRA/ISRA lawsuit," commented ISRA Executive Director, Richard Pearson. "This lawsuit defines the cutting edge of one of the most important questions of the day. That is, does the state have the right to decide who is worth defending and who is not?"
"The fact that two lawsuits have been filed against the State of Illinois this week is proof-positive that this issue is not going to go away," continued Pearson. "The behind the scenes political gamesmanship that resulted in the scuttling of HB148 has not diminished the resolve of the good people of Illinois. Whether it is in the courts, in the legislature, or at the ballot box, we will relentlessly push forward until the citizen's right to self defense is restored in Illinois."
The ISRA is the state's leading advocate of safe, lawful and responsible firearms ownership. For more than a century, the ISRA has represented the interests of millions of law-abiding Illinois firearm owners.
3/14/2011 Valinda Rowe, well known Second Amendment activist, testified at a recent Illinois House committee hearing for House Bill 148, a bill which creates a legal provision for the carrying of a firearm for personal protection. If passed, it would bring Illinois in line with 49 other states which already have some form of carry law in effect. HB 148 is sponsored by Representative Brandon Phelps, Harrisburg Democrat representing the 118 District.
Ms. Rowe testified on behalf of Mary Shepard, a Union County woman who was severely injured when a recently paroled felon attacked her and a co-worker in an Anna, IL church. Ms. Shepard, 71, and her co-worker, an 84 year old woman, were assaulted, beaten, kicked by the man who was a 6 foot 3, 245 lb. man. After beating the two women, he stomped them in the head, neck, and face then left them for dead in the church.
Ms. Rowe relayed to the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee Mary’s belief that the incident did not have to happen to the two women. Prior to the attack, Ms. Shepard had successfully completed five different firearm training courses including Personal Protection Outside the Home. She had also qualified for and had been issued two separate licenses to carry a firearm and those licenses are honored in over 31 states. However, carrying a loaded firearm by a citizen is considered a felony in the state of Illinois when not on one’s own property. Ms. Shepard’s urged the committee to pass the Right to Carry bill out of committee and on to floor of the House for a fair debate and vote.
Right to carry legislation has been introduced before in the Illinois General Assembly with little movement or hope of having enough votes to pass but this time around the measure is gaining some very surprising support. In recent years the Illinois State Sheriff’s Association, after long standing opposition, has moved to support the issue. The Illinois Chiefs of Police past president, Eric Smith, testified the association of chiefs, after years of opposing right to carry legislation, have now moved to a position of neutral and went on to say their legislative committee will be taking a closer look at the exact language of the bill and he fully expects the association to move to support HB148 at that time. A surprise witness in support of the bill was the representative of the Chicago Police Department Sergeants Union. It has long been held that the City of Chicago opposes any right to carry bill. It is highly irregular for a law enforcement group in Chicago to choose to go against the position held by the city and proponents of the bill say this is indicative of a shift toward moving the legislation forward.
Also testifying in support of the bill were Otis McDonald and Colleen Lawson, successful plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case against the Chicago handgun ban; Madison County State's Attorney Thomas D. Gibbons, National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde, Tazewell and Fulton County sheriffs.
Among those testifying in opposition to the bill was Mark Walsh, campaign director for the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Chicago police Deputy Superintendent Steve Peterson.
HB148 passed the committee 12-2. Reps. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, and Kelly Burke, D-Evergreen Park, were the only dissenting votes.
U.S. Supreme Court Rules Chicago Handgun Ban Unconstitutional! The U.S. Supreme Court announced its 5-4 decision today overturning the decades old Chicago ban on handguns! Following on the heels of the Heller vs DC decision two years ago which ruled DC's ban unconstitutional, the landmark case of McDonald vs Chicago finally brings the Second Amendment guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms to the states.
This decision is a huge win for the entire nation but especially for Chicago residents who have for decades been denied the right to possess a handgun in their home. Increasing opposition to the ban has been fueled by residents of the city demanding the right to protect themselves from the horrendous number of violent crimes in their neighborhoods.
The ruling is also a tremendous win for Illinois citizens whose state constitution holds that the right to keep and bear arms is "subject to police power". The Court ruled the 14th Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment to the states meaning " . . . the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" is a right protected even from local and state governments. While this decision does not immediately change state law it does throw open the door to re-examination of current law and a whole new era of defining the words "shall not be infringed".
What does it all mean in our efforts to see a Right to Carry law passed in Illinois? It means a great deal in the IL General Assembly where some fence-sitters on the issue have been waiting to see "if" the Second Amendment truly does apply to the states. It will almost assuredly add votes to our side of the tally board and will make it increasingly more difficult to pass new laws restricting the right of a law abiding citizen's to keep and bear arms.
Mayor Daley has vowed, regardless of the Supreme Court decision, to continue do everything he can to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of the people of Chicago - but he can't do it alone - he must have the votes of the aldermen on the city council. If you are a resident of Chicago, contact your alderman TODAY and demand they support your constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Demand they put an end to Mayor Daley's fanatical attack on their right to protect themselves and their families.
This is a great day in the history of this nation, the state of Illinois, and for the people of Chicago!! IllinoisCarry extends our heartfelt gratitude and respect to the courageous plaintiffs who stood before the courts on behalf of all Americans - Adam Orlov, David and Colleen Lawson, and lead plaintiff Otis McDonald. Thank you to the Illinois State Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, lead attorney Alan Gura, and Chicago attorney David Sigale for making it happen!
A copy of the ruling can be downloaded at SCOTUSblog.com.
In a huge win for Illinois gun owners, the Illinois Supreme Court, in a unanimous judgment, announced this morning that an enclosed center console of a vehicle is indeed considered a legitimate case for transporting a firearm within the meaning of the IL Criminal Code sec. 24 -1.4(c)iii:
(iii) are unloaded and enclosed in a case,
firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person who has been issued a currently valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card; or
The case in question, People vs Diggins, involved the transportation of two unloaded firearms and two loaded magazines in the console of a vehicle driven by an individual in possession of a valid FOID card. In unanimous agreement the justices ruled the trial judge erred in denying defense the right to argue that a console is considered a "case" or "other container" under sec. 24 -1.4(c)iii and for instructing the jury that the console is not considered a "case".
This ruling would also seem to resolve the question as to the legality of transporting unloaded hanguns in the glove box of a vehicle by IL citizens in possession of a valid FOID card.
Because there is a disagreement between the arresting officer, defendant, and a witness at the scene as to whether or not the console was completely closed at the time, the Diggins case has been remanded back to the lower court for further proceedings.
Illinois License to Carry Petition
Please sign this online petition in support of a License to Carry law in Illinois. The petition is the project of Robert Moon. Results will be sent to IL Gov. Pat Quinn and state legislators.