For firearm lovers everywhere, there is hope for the future. That’s because one major Illinois gun ban is officially thrown out. That’s right. Lawmakers can actually do something right for a change. And THROW out the bans that they had initially put in for “our safety.”
Take the instance of Julio Chairez, for instance, who was facing conviction back in 2013 for carrying his gun near a state park in Illinois. At the time, Illinois law had a prohibition on any civilian possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of any state park.
Well, the state’s Supreme Court made the wise decision that the law was unconstitutional, and chose to overturn it. Thankfully, the decision was made unanimously. For once, common sense presides.
According to the Illinois Supreme Court, the gun-free zones surrounding the park are hard to define. Therefore, under the previous law, these restrictions make it very easy for any gun owner to unintentionally break the law by merely walking around a street corner. In fact, they can possibly even violate the law by simply living nearby the park.
In addition, the state apparently did a pretty poor job of being able to make their case in court.
According to Guns.com:
“In sum, based on the record, the State provides no evidentiary support for its claims that prohibiting firearms within 1,000 feet of a public park would reduce the risks it identifies,” wrote Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier for the majority. “Without specific data or other meaningful evidence, we see no direct correlation between the information the State provides and its assertion that a 1,000-foot firearm ban around a public park protects children, as well as other vulnerable persons, from firearm violence.”
Chairez originally accepted a plea agreement in 2013 to carrying a gun near the Virgil L. Gilman Nature Trail but subsequently filed a petition to vacate the conviction arguing the law was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. In court proceedings, his attorneys made the case that when a person is barred from carrying a firearm within the wide 1,000-foot area outlined, that they are effectively barred from carrying a gun in public.
The state held the law under scrutiny was not a blanket prohibition on the right to keep and bear arms, just a restriction on carrying one in some places.
The court did not address other places affected by the 1,000-foot rule besides public parks to include schools, courthouses, public transportation facility, or public housing.