Ill. AG reviewing concealed carry ruling

December 17, 2012 9:38:10 PM PST
The Illinois Attorney General is in position to lead what might be considered a legal last stand against laws permitting Americans to carry concealed weapons.

Local officials are watching closely to see if she will appeal last week's controversial court ruling.

"We talk about it all the time. It would be nice to see some action on it this time," said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Superintendent Garry McCarthy says "action" should include an appeal by Attorney General Lisa Madigan of last week's ruling by a federal court three-judge panel forcing Illinois to become the last state in the nation to legalize the concealed carry of firearms.

"Just because 49 states did it doesn't make it right," said McCarthy. "Does anybody think it's right -- the amount of gun violence that exists in this country?"

Six days ago, before the Newtown massacre, the judges by a 2-1 vote overturned the Illinois law and ordered state lawmakers to fashion new regulations under which residents could carry concealed handguns.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who addressed Monday's police cadet graduation, says city lawyers would assist Madigan if she decides to appeal the ruling.

"I do not want to see more weapons on the street, more guns on the street that make your job all the more difficult," said Emanuel.

The attorney general has 14 days from last Tuesday to ask all seven appeals court members to review the ruling, or 90 days to appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme court, or she can choose to do nothing. That would force state lawmakers to write rules for concealed carry within six months.

"When Illinois citizens have firearms, i don't think you're going to see any major conflicts other than the fact that the criminals are going to go find something else to do," said Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Governor Pat Quinn would not offer an opinion on whether Madigan should appeal the concealed carry ruling. The governor says the focus in Illinois should be on banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

"This is the moment to do it. I really would like to see in the coming month, the members of the general assembly band together on behalf of public safety," said Quinn.

An attorney general's office spokeswoman said that Lisa Madigan is still reviewing the ruling. "We are thoroughly analyzing the opinion and the law in this area as we consider next steps," spokeswoman Natalie Bauer said in a statement.


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