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Want A Concealed-Carry Permit In Illinois Before April? File Another Lawsuit

(via Flickr/Of Small Things)

Gun owners in Illinois who want a concealed-carry permit before April 2014 will have to file a new lawsuit in federal court.

  • Back in December 2012, a three-judge panel ruled that Illinois' complete ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional, but gave the state 180 days to come up with reasonable restrictions - a deadline that was later extended by 30 days.
  • On July 9 - the last day possible - lawmakers overrode a gubernatorial veto and enacted a concealed carry law that gave the state police 270 days to issue the first permit.
  • That meant until April 5, 2014, carrying a weapon outside the home in Illinois would remain illegal.
  • Angered by the delay, the challengers of the original law asked the appeals court to allow those with a Firearm Owner's Identification Card be allowed to carry concealed. A judge refused.

On Tuesday, the same panel that struck down Illinois' concealed-carry ban agreed, ruling that the state has done everything it needed to do as part of the December 2012 ruling:

We neither set a deadline for full implementation of the replacement statute by the grant of concealed-carry licenses to qualified applicants under the new statute, nor prescribed a regulatory regime for the interim period. Deciding those matters was left to the State of Illinois in the first instance. What the state has done about the interim regime for concealed carry may be good or bad, constitutional or unconstitutional, but it is not a violation of our mandate.

If the plaintiffs have a problem with the delay, the judges wrote, they need to file a lawsuit challenging the law.

St. Louis Public Radio contacted the plaintiff's attorneys for comment, but they did not immediately respond.

Follow Rachel Lippman on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.