Concealed carry ban in Illinois struck down by U.S. Court of Appeals

By WEEK Producer

December 11, 2012 Updated Dec 12, 2012 at 4:34 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Illinois lawmakers could have 180 days to enact a concealed carry law.

In a historic decision Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the state's concealed carry ban.

The two to one decision states that a right to bear arms for self-defense is as important outside the home as inside.

The court ruling goes on to state, "Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safely. It has failed to meet this burden."

Now, local and state lawmakers are speaking out, some saying this ruling has been a long time coming.

"Forty-nine other states already have this; we're the only state without it," said State Representative Mike Unes (91st District). "If you look at what the crime rates have done when other states inact some sort of concealed carry law, the crime rates go down."

"The statistics that validate that concealed carry works are accurate, the other 49 states prove it," said Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis. "There's a lot of different things we're trying to do in Peoria to combat crime, concealed carry is really just another component of that."

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she will take time to review the ruling before deciding whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last year Wisconsin became the 49th state to approve some form of concealed carry law.