Skip to comments.NRA Files Suit Against Unconstitutional Ban on Carrying Firearms for Self-Defense in Illinois
Posted on 05/13/2011 6:12:42 PM PDT by neverdem
Fairfax, Va. -- The National Rifle Association is funding and supporting a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of Illinois complete and total ban on carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home. The case, filed today in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, is Shepard v. Madigan. The lead plaintiff is church treasurer Mary Shepard; joining her is the Illinois State Rifle Association, the NRAs state affiliate.
Mary Shepard is an Illinois resident and a trained gun owner with no criminal record, who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in two other states. Because Illinois remains the only state that completely prohibits all law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home, Mary Shepard also became a crime victim. While working as the treasurer of her church, Mrs. Shepard and an 83-year-old co-worker were viciously attacked and beaten by a six-foot-three-inch, 245-pound man with a violent past and a criminal record. Mrs. Shepard and her co-worker were lucky to survive, as each of them suffered major injuries to the head, neck and upper body. Mrs. Shepards injuries required extensive surgery and physical therapy.
Mary Shepard isn't just a victim of the violent criminal who attacked her," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRAs Institute for Legislative Action. "She is also a victim of anti self-defense activists in the Illinois legislature who have consistently refused to recognize that good people have the right to protect themselves when they go about their everyday business. We're pleased that the legislature has come closer this year than ever before to changing the law, but close isn't good enough for Mary Shepard and the thousands of other Illinois residents who are prohibited by statute from defending themselves outside the home."
Because Illinois statutes prohibit the right to keep and bear arms and the ability to carry handguns in Illinois, they infringe on the right of the people, including Mrs. Shepard, members of the ISRA and other law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and are thus null and void.
Cox concluded: "In its historic Heller and McDonald decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court made clear that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms. Mary Shepard's story highlights the need for law-abiding citizens to be able to fully exercise their Second Amendment rights. Whether through the legislature or through the courts, we won't rest until that happens."
The NRA has also filed or supported the following cases to preserve Second Amendment freedoms across the United States since the historic Heller and McDonald rulings, and expects to file more in the coming months:
Benson v. City of Chicago, challenging Chicago's unconstitutionally burdensome handgun restrictions;
Heller v. District of Columbia (Heller II), challenging Washington, D.C.'s overly restrictive firearm registration requirements and ban on commonly owned rifles;
Jackson v. City of San Francisco, challenging that city's gun storage and ammunition regulations;
Jane Doe v. Wilmington Housing Authority, challenging prohibitions on firearms ownership in Delaware public housing;
Jennings v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, challenging the federal law that prohibits law-abiding adults between the ages of 18-20 from buying handguns from licensed dealers;
NRA v. McCraw, challenging Texas' law that bans issuance of handgun carry permits to 18-20 year old adults; and
Peruta v. City of San Diego, challenging that city's refusal to issue handgun carry permits to law-abiding applicants.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is Americas oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.
These folks are doing the heavy lifting:
SAF SUES ILLINOIS OVER BAN ON
CARRYING GUNS FOR SELF-DEFENSE
BELLEVUE, WA - The Second Amendment Foundation has filed suit in federal court in Illinois, challenging the state’s complete prohibition on the carrying of firearms in public for the purpose of self-defense.
The lawsuit alleges that Illinois statutes that completely ban the carrying of handguns for self-defense are “inconsistent with the Second Amendment.” Joining SAF are two private citizens, Michael Moore of Champaign and Charles Hooks of Percy. Named as defendants are Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and State Police Superintendent Patrick Keen. SAF is represented by attorneys David Jensen and David Sigale. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois.
“Illinois is currently the only state in the country that imposes a complete prohibition on the carrying of firearms for personal protection by its citizens,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “The state legislature recently stopped, by a thin margin, a concealed carry measure. After the 2008 Heller ruling and last year’s McDonald ruling against the City of Chicago that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states, one would think that Illinois lawmakers would act quickly to comply with court decisions and the constitution.”
“Illinois is the only state in the country that completely prohibits its citizens from carrying guns for self-defense,” Jensen added. “It is incredible that this situation has persisted even in light of the Supreme Court’s rulings in Heller and McDonald, and we look forward to vindicating the rights of the people of Illinois.”
The lawsuit insists this case is not an attempt to force Illinois into some regulatory scheme, but only to clarify that the state’s current regulatory ban on firearms carry is impermissible under the Second Amendment.
“Every other state has some kind of regulatory scenario,” Gottlieb noted. “Even in Wisconsin, where there is no concealed carry statute, the state attorney general has recognized that open carry is legal. Only Illinois makes it statutorily impossible for average private citizens to carry firearms for self-defense.
“Whether Illinois lawmakers like it or not,” he added, “the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is the law of the land. A complete prohibition simply does not pass constitutional muster. The state cannot stick it’s head in the sand and pretend this problem does not exist..”
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and an amicus brief and fund for the Emerson case holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.
Second Amendment Foundation
James Madison Building
12500 N.E. Tenth Place
Bellevue, WA 98005 Voice: 425-454-7012
Toll Free: 800-426-4302
NY-26: Jack Davis is the First Tea-In-Name-Only Comment# 31, The Mayor needs help!
Do you know how many times Chuck Schumer voted against raising the national debt ceiling? A shortie with one comment so far
The end result: for every dollar spent on health care in the United States, just 12 cents comes out of the individuals pockets.
Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.
One wonders what part of “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” doesn’t get through to the political class in Illinois.
Thanks for the ping!
Because Illinois remains the only state that completely prohibits all law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home, Mary Shepard also became a crime victim.Correction needed.
It is not against any 'State' Law to carry 'outside your home'. Per State Law you can carry anywhere on your property.Granted, Chicago's 'new laws' do say you can't carry outside and maybe a couple other cities do too, but it's not against IL State Law(s).
If you live in a 1,000 SF Condo you're s.o.l.. But if you have a 700 Acre Farm, knock your socks off.
What exactly does that mean?