A federal court ruling tossing out Illinois' ban on concealed weapons might end the last such gun prohibition in the country, but not without a fight.
The question is whether the battle will be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has been silent on the issue of concealed weapons, or a legislative confrontation over the court's order that Illinois adopt a law allowing concealed carry with "reasonable limitations" as in other states.
Gun control advocates urged Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to quickly appeal Tuesday's ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Illinois' ban is unconstitutional. Madigan's office said she is studying the issue. But the ban's defenders said they were more certain of fireworks over a second part of the ruling — an order for the Illinois Legislature to come up with a law legalizing the concealed carry of weapons within 180 days.
"I expect a battle," said Barbara Flynn Currie, the House Majority Leader and a longtime gun control advocate. "The proponents of concealed carry have not yet carried the day."
Exultant gun rights advocates, who long have argued that the Illinois ban violates the Second Amendment, couldn't agree less. They celebrated the ruling as a major victory in their campaign to make Illinois and its ban the center of the national debate over gun control after Wisconsin tossed out its own ban on concealed carry last year.