SPRINGFIELD, Ill. | Hoping to bring Illinois in line with 49 other states, gun rights activists asked a federal judge Thursday to lift the state's one-of-a-kind ban on carrying concealed weapons in public.
In testimony before U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough, attorneys with the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation said recent court cases that have tossed out gun restrictions in other jurisdictions provide the legal grounds for changing Illinois gun laws.
Attorney David Jensen said the restrictions deprive Illinoisans of the right of armed self-defense.
The lawsuit, filed by Michael Moore of Champaign, is among at least two cases winding their way through the federal legal system seeking to alter Illinois' status as the lone holdout in the nation when it comes to allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons.
The court battle comes as state lawmakers have been unable to agree on a law legalizing the practice. Earlier this year, a concealed carry proposal fell six votes short of moving out of the House.
In arguing Thursday against lifting the ban, Assistant Illinois Attorney General Terrence Corrigan said the gun rights supporters have no standing to move forward with the case.
"There has been no claim of individual harm," Corrigan said.
In addition, Corrigan said if the Second Amendment Foundation is successful, people would be able to carry firearms with little, if any, regulations on where they could take them.
Myerscough told the attorneys that it could be a few days before she makes a decision in the case.
"I will not promise it will be tomorrow," the judge said.