CHICAGO (AP) - A federal appeals court has struck down a ban on carrying concealed weapons in Illinois - the only state where carrying concealed weapons is entirely illegal.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals announced Tuesday that state lawmakers have 180 days to write a new law that legalizes concealed carry.
The ruling is a victory for gun rights advocates, who argue that the prohibition against concealed weapons violates the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment and what they see as Americans' right to carry guns for self-defense.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office says it is reviewing the ruling and would comment Tuesday.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by former corrections officer Michael Moore of Champaign, farmer Charles Hooks of Percy in southeastern Illinois and the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation.
State Representative Jerry Costello released the following statement after the court ruling. He is the co-sponsor of a bill pending in the Legislature to implement concealed carry:
"Illinois has been the only state that denies its residents the right to legally protect themselves by carrying firearms, and my hope is this ruling puts us another step closer towards changing that. I stand ready to assure a concealed carry law is put on the books in Illinois to finally recognize the rights granted to law abiding citizens in the Constitution."
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