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Illinois’ Blued-Steel Wave Hits, Courtesy of SAF

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Blue wave? For Illinois, it’s a blued-steel wave, and it’s hitting Chicago’s shores right now.

Everybody knows that the states with the worst gun laws in the nation are California, Illinois, New York and Massachusetts (more or less in that order). All of them infringe on the Second Amendment in their own unique ways, and all of them are ripe for the kind of Supreme Court defeat that we saw just last week in a gun-confiscation case.

Second Amendment activists, particularly The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), have been very busy in Illinois of late, and the “blued-steel wave” is crashing over the shores of the Windy City. The latest salvo is SAF’s new lawsuit in federal district court in Illinois, challenging the state’s ban on concealed carry by young adults between the ages of 18 and 21. The suit alleges the ban violates the Second and 14th Amendment rights of those citizens.

Joining SAF are the Illinois State Rifle Association, Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., and three private citizens in the 18-21-year age group, David Meyer, Eva Davis and Mitchell Nalley. They are represented by attorneys David G. Sigale of David G. Sigale, P.C. in Wheaton, Ill., Christian D. Ambler of Stone & Johnson in Chicago and David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and William V. Bergstrom, all with Cooper & Kirk PLLC in Washington, D.C. The case is known as Meyer v. Raoul.

Named as defendants are Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly, State’s Attorney of Fayette County Joshua C. Morrison, State’s Attorney of St. Clair County James Gomric, State’s Attorney for Kendall County Eric Weis, Fayette County Sheriff Christopher Palmer, St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson and Kendall County Sheriff Dwight A. Baird, in their official and individual capacities.

“All law-abiding citizens of this country are considered adults at the age of 18 for nearly all purposes,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “They can vote, enter into contracts, start businesses, get married and join the military. But the state prohibits them from exercising the fundamental right to bear arms, that is, to carry a handgun outside the home or in an automobile, even though the state allows other adults to obtain a license to carry firearms in public.

“This is not our first legal encounter in Illinois,” he noted. “First we had the landmark McDonald v. City of Chicago Supreme Court victory that nullified Chicago’s handgun ban and incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment. That opened the doors for other cases around the country. We successfully litigated Ezell v. City of Chicago when the city tried to get creative with its handgun law. We won again with Moore v. Madigan, forcing the Illinois Legislature to adopt a concealed carry statute, which we’re very proud of. And we’ve had other successful legal battles, so Illinois is familiar ground to us.

The lawsuit notes, “Moreover, young adults between eighteen and twenty-one were fully protected by the Second Amendment at the time of its ratification. Hundreds of statutes from the colonial and founding eras required 18-to-20-year-olds to keep and bear arms.”

“We’re asking the court to remedy this situation by issuing an injunction against further enforcement of the ban on our individual plaintiffs and other young adults facing the same situation,” Gottlieb said. “Citizens in this age group enjoy nearly all of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution except when it comes to the Second Amendment. This cannot be allowed to stand.”

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