Illinois is the lone state that prohibits people from carrying guns in public, but that might not be the case much longer. A federal court opinion strikes down the state's ban.
"“It means that in 2013 Illinois will join 49 other states and we will have a law to allow people to carry handguns for self-defense outside the home,” said Todd Vandermyde of the National Rifle Association.
Vandermyde has been lobbying legislators for years to pass a concealed carry law. Now, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has given the General Assembly 180 days to pass one.
The decision said Illinois' ban is unconstitutional, given the US Supreme Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment.
The opinion said "a right to bear arms ... implies a right to carry a gun outside the home."
It also pointed out most murders in Chicago take place outside the home and added "Knowing that many law-abiding citizens are walking the streets armed may make criminals timid."
Illinois could try appealing to the US Supreme Court. Governor Pat Quinn has been vocal about his anti-gun stance. His spokeswoman would only offer "we're reviewing the opinion."
Thanks to Illinois Public Radio