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Opinion

Gun-rights supporters win battle

(MCT) — Gun-rights advocates might want to muffle their rejoicing over a federal court ruling Tuesday that the state’s ban on concealed weapons is unconstitutional.

Not that there shouldn’t be some celebration that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the prohibition and sided with the rights of individuals to lawfully protect themselves.

But the political stranglehold that is Chicago and northern Illinois — the same people who brought us the ban and the equally seemingly unconstitutional requirement for firearms owners to be licensed — will not let this rest. They have strong-armed their own viewpoints into the debate and repeatedly refused to listen to the majority of Illinoisans.

What that majority is saying — certainly the majority in the ignored downstate part of Illinois — is that restrictive infringements upon the rights of law-abiding citizens will not be tolerated.

Ten counties already have voter referendums that support the right of people to carry concealed weapons, although state law makes the will of the people moot.

Legislators have tried unsuccessfully for years to make changes to the firearms laws, only to be beaten into submission by the aforementioned Chicago power-wielders.

The first part of the ruling this week, that dealing with the ban’s constitutional shortfall, is un-newsy to them because they have been told the same thing for years. It’s the same reasoning in play in Illinois’ law that has been knocked down state after state to the point Illinois is the last one to have a concealed carry ban.

No, it’s the second part that will probably set up the lengthy court battle: That the Legislature come up with a law allowing concealed carry within 180 days.

If there’s anything the “Chicago Legislature” hates, it’s being told what to do.

Here’s what we expect:

The appeals court decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court, which will take months to say it will not hear the case and let the lower court decision stand.

In the meantime, legislation will be drafted that will try to restrict concealed carry rights even further by limiting places and circumstances under which weapons could be carried.

After spending untold thousands of taxpayer dollars on what amounts to ego games, the court will side with reality — just as it has in 49 states before now.

Eventually, the rights of the people will prevail.

This week’s ruling put things on the right path and indicates an end to Illinois’ senseless power-grab is within reach.

Then, it will be a cause for true celebration.

This editorial appeared in The Telegraph, Alton, on Thursday, Dec. 13.

2012 The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.)

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