Gun rights advocates, who long have argued that the Illinois ban violates the Second Amendment, celebrated the ruling as a major victory in their campaign to make Illinois the center of the national debate over gun control after Wisconsin tossed out its ban on concealed carry last year.
The gun rights backers interpreted the 2-1 appellate court ruling as a mandate instructing lawmakers to pass a bill allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons in public with few if any restrictions. Todd Vandermyde, a National Rifle Association lobbyist, said gun control advocates could forget any limits such as partial bans near places such as day care centers and schools.
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said lawmakers could quickly pass an existing concealed-carry bill when they reconvene the first week of January. The bill, he said, "contains all the things — background checks, classroom time — that all the parties wanted, so it's ready to go," but he said the sponsors may not need to include all those provisions this time around.
"We bent over backwards before and tried to accommodate everybody, and they just threw it in the garbage," Pearson said. "Maybe we won't be so accommodating now."