Monday, September 30, 2013
In a recent 7‐0 decision the Illinois Supreme Court came out with an epic decision that may reverberate
throughout the 50 states. The facts were that Aguilar, a 17 year old youth, had a loaded gun in his
possession on property that did not belong to him and underage possession. The gun was loaded and
not in a case.
Aguilar was in violation of Illinois state law known as the “Unlawful Use of Weapons” (UUW) and
“Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons” (AUUW). The trial court found him guilty of the offense of
possession by a minor of a concealable firearm and possessing a firearm outside his place of abode.
The appellate court concurred, hence the appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Illinois Supreme Court (ISP) made it clear that the UUW and AUUW “amounts to a wholesale statutory ban on the exercise of a personal right that is specifically named in and guaranteed by the United States Constitution … In no other context would we permit this, and we will not permit it here
While this decision is concise, simple and clear despite the court declining to address all the historical
facts that give this decision its basis, neither did the court go into detail on the meaning of the simple
phrase, “shall not be infringed.” The court did not discuss the FOID card infringement that is clearly
unconstitutional as well in my opinion. Typically the courts will not expand a case to other portions of
law that are not specifically addressed in a suit that comes before the court. Consequently I can
understand why they did not address it.
I have been in communication with a number of attorneys in informal discussion, and it appears to them
that clearly you cannot be stopped, at this point, in Illinois from carrying a loaded uncased firearm on
your person. There was some discussion as to whether it could be concealed or not, since we now have
a law that states that you can carry concealed only with a permit. But at the very least open carry must
be allowed, since the court stated, “…we will not permit…” the complete ban on the right to carry
outside the home and premises.
Another point the court chose to make, “…neither Heller nor McDonald expressly limits the second
amendment’s protection to the home. On the contrary, both decisions contain language strongly
suggesting if not outright confirming that the second amendment right to keep and bear arms extends
beyond the home. … Indeed, Heller itself recognizes as much when it states that “the right to have arms
… [was] understood to be an individual right protecting against both public and private violence.”
I have been told repeatedly by public officials in Pike and elsewhere that “until the courts say so we will enforce that law as written.” There are 15 counties whose public officials stood up and said in so many words, “we can read and it says, ‘shall not be infringed,’ therefore we will NOT prosecute or arrest otherwise law abiding citizens for what we see as an unconstitutional infringement of a fundamental right to keep and bear arms.” I applaud these officials for their courage to stand up for the simple language of Liberty. While our county was not in that group who stood up, which breaks my heart, neither was the law strictly enforced like it could have been.
It is interesting to note that citizens of those “Liberated” counties have been carrying for months. There
has been no blood in the streets. Need I say more?
Individual law abiding citizens should never be required to pass a test to exercise a fundamental right.
That is the risk and fresh air of Liberty. We must err on the side of the individual citizen and his Liberty.
If the citizen is irresponsible in the exercise of his Liberty, then we already have more laws than we need to deal with it.