CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' attorney general on Tuesday asked the entire 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on concealed carry in an effort to salvage the only law in the nation that makes the practice entirely illegal.
Last month, a three-judge panel struck down the Illinois ban as unconstitutional and gave lawmakers 180 days to write a law legalizing it. But Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking that all 10 judges on the court rehear the case, saying the previous decision "goes beyond what the U.S. Supreme Court has held" and conflicts with decisions by two other federal appellate courts.
The judges suggested in a 2-1 decision that legalizing concealed carry is long overdue. Judge Richard Posner, who wrote the majority opinion, said that there was nothing to suggest that criminal activity in Illinois was different enough from that in other states to justify taking a different approach to concealed carry.
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said he was "OK" with Madigan's decision.
"That just puts (the issue) back in play," Pearson said. "If we get a favorable ruling, we'll be happy and if we get an unfavorable ruling, we'll be on to the Supreme Court."
Pearson and other gun-rights advocates have long argued that the prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment and what they see as Americans' right to carry guns for self-defense.
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