to winning the war against firearms prohibition.
The Second Amendment Foundation has won a huge victory for the right to bear arms outside the home, with a ruling in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that declares the right to self-defense is “broader than the right to have a gun in one’s home.”
The case of Moore v. Madigan, with Judge Richard Posner writing for the majority, gives the Illinois legislature 180 days to “craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment…on the carrying of guns in public.”
“We are very happy with Judge Posner’s majority opinion,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “This is a victory for Illinois citizens who have been long denied a right recognized in the other 49 states; to have the means necessary for self-defense outside the home.
“In the broader sense,” he added, “this ruling affirms that the right to keep and bear arms, itself, extends beyond the boundary of one’s front door. This is a huge victory for the Second Amendment.”
“The Second Amendment,” Judge Posner writes, “states in its entirety that ‘a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’ The right to ‘bear’ as distinct from the right to ‘keep’ arms is unlikely to refer to the home. To speak of ‘bearing’ arms within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage. A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.”
Later, Judge Posner adds, “To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense described in Heller and McDonald.”
“That the court will give Illinois lawmakers six months to craft a law allowing carry outside the home recognizes that the right to bear arms means what it says,” Gottlieb concluded. “The ball is now in the Legislature’s court, and we eagerly wait to see how well they can live up to their responsibility.”
A thunderous round of applause and a standing ovation greeted the news Wednesday night that a proposed town bylaw to restrict some assault weapons was going to be officially withdrawn.
Westford Vice Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Robert Jeffries
The overwhelming majority of the close to 400 people who packed a special meeting of the Westford Board of Selectmen opposed the idea.
The man who originally proposed it told the crowd the debate had not gone as he had hoped.
Vice Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Robert Jeffries said, “This was meant to be a discussion within the town of Westford, a community discussion that’s gotten way, way beyond that. We’re not really getting the discussion we want.”
After the meeting, Jeffries added that he had hoped he and his town would not be alone in an effort to restrict assault weapons and high-capacity firearms from the town.
“I thought there would be a [negative] reaction,” Jeffries said. “But I also thought maybe some other towns in Massachusetts might have also tried something similar and none of them did. So it left us isolated as the only ones.”
Westford residents at the meeting felt a sense of relief.