Constitutional Law

Second Amendment protects the right to carry a gun outside the home, Illinois Supreme Court says

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The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a gun outside the home.

The court ruled (PDF) in the case of Alberto Aguilar, who was charged under a law that bars the carrying of uncased, loaded guns outside a person’s home, land or fixed place of business.

The Illinois Supreme Court cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago, which protected the right to own handguns within the home. “Neither Heller nor McDonald expressly limits the Second Amendment’s protections to the home,” the Illinois court said. “On the contrary, both decisions contain language strongly suggesting if not outright confirming that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms extends beyond the home.”

The decision in People v. Aguilar deepens a split of authority on Second Amendment protection for carrying a gun in public, the Volokh Conspiracy reports. The Illinois decision is in agreement with a ruling by the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year in Moore v. Madigan. Illinois did not appeal that ruling, “so I suspect they wouldn’t do so here,” the Volokh Conspiracy says.

Aguilar had attracted an officer’s attention because he was among a group of teens screaming, making gestures and throwing bottles at passing cars, according to police testimony. After Aguilar entered a friend’s yard, an officer noticed the suspect was holding a gun and arrested him, according to an officer’s account. The gun was loaded with three live rounds of ammunition, and the serial number had been scratched off.

Aguilar denied that he was holding a gun and said it was not his. He was charged with aggravated unlawful use of weapons, the law that bars carrying loaded weapons outside the home.

The court said that in striking down the law, “we are in no way saying that such a right is unlimited or is not subject to meaningful regulation.” Indeed, the court upheld Aguilar’s conviction under a second law that prohibits the possession of handguns by those under age 18. (The law has an exemption for hunting and target shooting.) Aguilar was 17 at the time of his arrest.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

Related coverage: “Does Second Amendment protect right to carry gun outside home? SCOTUS declines to decide the issue” “7th Circuit Strikes Illinois Concealed-Carry Ban, Gives State 180 Days to Revise Gun Law”

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