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US appeals court rejects Illinois' request to reconsider concealed guns ruling

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] refused [opinion, PDF] on Friday to rehear a case decided in December that struck down [JURIST report] Illinois' ban on carrying concealed weapons. Last month, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan [official website] filed a petition for re-hearing en banc [press release; JURIST report], which requests for all 10 judges on the court to hear the case. On Friday, the court rejected Madigan's rehearing petition [AP report] by a 5-4 vote, with one judge not participating. Judge David Hamilton dissented, saying that the December decision went too far in striking down restrictions on guns. In his dissent, he stated

The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether the...individual right to bear arms at home under the Second Amendment extends beyond the home. The panel's split decision in these cases goes farther than the Supreme Court has gone and is the first decision by a federal court of appeals striking down legislation restricting the carrying of arms in public.
Madigan has 90 days to decide whether or not to appeal to the US Supreme Court [official website].

Illinois lawmakers, particularly those in Chicago, have struggled to limit firearm possession and advance gun control [JURIST news archive] initiatives in the city without violating the Constitution. In June the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] struck down [JURIST report] a portion of the Chicago Firearms Ordinance [text, PDF] that prevents firearm purchase by individuals who have "been convicted by a court in any jurisdiction of ... unlawful use of a weapon that is a firearm" because such a standard is unconstitutionally vague. The ordinance was unanimously approved [JURIST report] by the Chicago City Council in July 2010, and imposes strict regulations on firearm possession. In particular, residents who possess firearms are required to keep them inside their homes, and are not permitted to take their guns into the yard, garage or porch of the home. The legislation was enacted four days after the Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago [opinion, JURIST report] that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is applicable to the states as well as the federal government. The decision effectively struck down Chicago's former handgun ban, as it prohibited citizens from keeping handguns in their homes under any circumstances.

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