The Supreme Court could soon hear a new gun control debate — this one focusing on the right to be armed in public. The case: a federal appeals court’s decision to strike down Illinois’ ban on carrying concealed weapons, according to the Associated Press.
Unless the Supreme Court overturns that ruling, Illinois will become the 50th state to allow people to carry concealed weapons.
So what is potentially at stake?
Well, although a number of states have stringent concealed carry laws, Illinois was the only state in the nation with such a sweeping ban, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Now that an appeals court has overturned that ban, the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to take up the issue.
The last two high court cases to deal with gun control took place more than two years ago and both upheld the right to carry arms, according to The New York Times.
In the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to own guns — at a federal level — and in 2010 the court said that protection applies at a local level as well.
In his majority opinion on the Illinois case, Judge Richard Posner said the Heller ruling guaranteed people the right to carry weapons “in case of confrontation,” which is not limited to the home, according to Slate.
The Heller case, however, never addressed whether the Second Amendment allows for self-defence outside the home, UCLA law professor Adam Winkler pointed out to the AP.
“Since the Heller case, the next great question for the Supreme Court to decide was whether there is a right to carry guns in public,” Winkler told the AP.
If the Supreme Court overturns the appeals court, that could jeopardize laws allowing concealed weapons in every other state in the nation.
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