(MCT) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a petition asking the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a December ruling that struck down the state's ban on carrying concealed handguns in public.
The move is aimed at reversing the decision by a three-judge panel of the court, which ruled 2-1 that the state's longtime prohibition violated the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment. If the court accepts the petition, the case would be reheard by 10 active appellate judges.
"In ruling that Illinois must allow individuals to carry ready-to-use firearms in public, the 7th Circuit Court's decision goes beyond what the U.S. Supreme Court has held and conflicts with decisions by two other federal appellate courts. Based on those decisions, it is appropriate to ask the full 7th Circuit to review this case," Madigan said in a statement issued Tuesday.
The court gave lawmakers six months to draft legislation to set up rules allowing concealed carry in Illinois. That timeline is not affected by Madigan's filing.
Illinois is the only state that does not allow some form of concealed carry, and the court's decision to declare it unconstitutional was a major victory for the National Rifle Association. The group has long pushed for legislation in Springfield that would allow people to carry guns outside the home.
Unlike most political debates, which are shaped by party affiliation, the gun issue is largely geographical. Many Downstate lawmakers support concealed carry, while many Chicago lawmakers oppose it, citing the city's persistent problem with gun violence. Chicago's handgun ban was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010, leading to a narrowly drafted ordinance allowing possession of registered firearms inside the home. Gun rights advocates have challenged that restriction in federal court.