Alderman Howard Brookins disagreed. He said the court's decision means law-abiding citizens "who jump through the hoops" will be able to protect themselves.
Judge Richard Posner wrote in the majority appellate opinion that Illinois doesn't have "some unique characteristic of criminal activity" that provides an excuse for not joining the rest of the nation when it comes to concealed weapons.
But the majority included the 180-day stay of its ruling to "allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public," Posner wrote. The fight in the Legislature would be over what constitutes "reasonable limitations."
Among the biggest backers of the ban were powerful Chicago Democrats with a long tradition of support for gun control legislation; much of the rest of the state opposed the ban.
One provision in Phelps' bill that might be taken out is a requirement for concealed-carry training specific to Illinois residents, Pearson said. That requirement is far more rigorous than in some other states, including Arizona and Wyoming, which Pearson said have far less stringent training requirements.
Pearson said another possibility is requiring training from any NRA instructor, as some states require. "You get certified and you're out the door," he said.
There also is likely to be debate over where concealed weapons can be carried. For example, Wisconsin decided that gun permit holders cannot carry weapons in schools, police stations or courtrooms but can carry weapons into taverns if they aren't drinking alcohol. Private property owners can ban weapons in their buildings if they see fit.
Some gun control advocates believe their best chance is with the Supreme Court. It could be a long shot, given the court's rulings in the last few years — one overturning Chicago's 28-year-old handgun ban — that citizens have a Second Amendment right to have a gun for self-defense in their homes.
Flynn Currie said she is encouraged by the court's silence on the right to carry concealed weapons and wants Madigan to appeal the ruling.
The Supreme Court's rulings on the Second Amendment were "very limited, saying the home is your castle, and it didn't apply to other places," she said. "For that reason, it's worth checking on that question."
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