The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Brady Center, Victims' Families, Law Enforcement Urge Federal Appeals Court To Review and Reverse Ruling Invalidating Illinois Restrictions on Carrying Guns in Public


The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, along with the parents of shooting victims Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, and several national law enforcement groups, today filed an amicus brief asking the entire United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to review and reverse a 2-1 decision that held Illinois law restricting the public carrying of firearms unconstitutional.

"The people of Illinois, not unelected judges, should decide whether or not to allow deadly semi-automatic weapons on their streets," said Brady Center Legal Action Project Director Jonathan Lowy. "Most courts have recognized that reasonable public safety laws do not infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Courts should listen to the parents of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, who lost their sons to people whose states entitled them to carry guns in public. Courts should carefully consider those costs before invalidating reasonable public safety laws."

Ruling in Moore v. Madigan and Shepard v. Madigan, a 2-1 decision of the 7th Circuit held that Illinois's law violated the Second Amendment. The Brady brief is in support of the State of Illinois's request for en banc review of that decision, in which all judges on the Court would consider this important case.

The panel decision is the only appeals court decision striking down a law restricting public carrying as a violation of the Second Amendment. On the contrary, since the Supreme Court's Second Amendment ruling three years ago in District of Columbia v. Heller, numerous courts have held that the Second Amendment grants only a limited, narrow right to possess handguns in the home for self-defense. Courts around the country have overwhelmingly rejected gun lobby arguments that there is a right to carry hidden, loaded firearms in public.

Today's brief was filed on behalf of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence; Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, parents of Trayvon Martin; Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, parents of Jordan Davis; Major Cities Chiefs Association; and International Brotherhood of Police Officers by attorneys with the Brady Center's Legal Action Project and the firm Hogan Lovells US LLP.

Brady United formerly known as The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and its legislative and grassroots affiliate, the Brady Campaign and its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence. We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.