Illinois’s ban on carrying handguns violates the U.S. Constitution, the Second Amendment Foundation Inc., an advocacy group, said in a federal court lawsuit.
“Illinois is currently the only state in the country that imposes a complete prohibition on the carrying of firearms for personal protection by its citizens,” foundation Vice President Alan Gottlieb said today in a press statement announcing yesterday’s filing in Springfield, the state capital.
Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, the Bellevue, Washington-based group seeks a court order declaring two challenged state statutes invalid to the extent they prohibit people who are otherwise qualified from carrying handguns for self defense.
The amendment says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The Supreme Court in 2008 said the Constitution protects the rights of individuals, not just militias, to bear arms. Ruling in a case challenging a Chicago gun ban last year, the high court said cities and states too are bound by the federal mandate.
The ruling resulted in the striking down of the city’s ban on private possession of handguns in homes.
Chicago then enacted an ordinance limiting handgun possession to inside the home and mandating firearms training for owners. That also been challenged in court.
The Second Amendment Foundation sued two state officials, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Police Superintendent Patrick Keen.
Robyn Ziegler, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, declined to comment immediately. Sergeant Isaiah Vega, a spokesman for the state police, didn’t immediately respond to a voice-mail message seeking comment.
The case is Moore v. Madigan, 11-cv-3134, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois (Springfield).