SAF Sues Illinois Over Ban on Carrying Guns for Self-Defense
BELLEVUE, Wash., May 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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.
SOURCE Second Amendment Foundation