As for the Illinois law, its supporters appeared divided -- at least initially in the wake of the appeals court's decision -- on whether they can or should redraft a "concealed carry" law, one that can meet the judicial mandate. One thing is certain: a Supreme Court appeal will come in the next few months, and another potentially history-making test of individual gun rights.
"Today's ruling is a major victory for law-abiding Illinoisans -- and for everyone who understands that the Second Amendment protects the right both to keep arms and to bear arms," said Chris Cox, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, just after the 7th Circuit decision last week. "This ruling makes clear that Illinois cannot deny law-abiding residents the right to carry a firearm for self-defense outside the home. This is a step in the right direction for all gun owners. We know it probably won't be the end of this case, and we're ready to keep fighting until the courts fully protect the entire Second Amendment."
Gun control is one of those hot-button social issues that stirs energies on competing sides. The rhetoric naturally becomes more heated -- and personal -- in the raw aftermath of events like the shootings in Newtown.
The impact of rulings from the Supreme Courts and lower court judges acting in their mandate always come with lingering reminders of these kinds of tragedies from across the nation, as local communities wrestle with whether banning often the cheapest, most commonly available kinds of firearms will reduce violent crime or leave honest citizens vulnerable.
The Illinois concealed carry ruling is Moore v. Madigan (12-1269).