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When it comes to upholding concealed-carry rights, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has been the only federal appellate court to apply the Second Amendment correctly. Until now. In Culp v. Madigan, a case involving the concealed-carry rights of out-of-state citizens in Illinois, a three-judge panel of the court has now gone the wrong way over the vigorous objections of dissenting Judge Daniel Manion.

Many states restrict residents from obtaining concealed-carry permits unless they can demonstrate a “good reason” for needing them. The Second, Third, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals have all approved such restrictions — the only example I know of federal courts telling citizens they cannot exercise a guaranteed constitutional right, like the ability to speak under the First Amendment, unless they have a valid reason to do so.

But the Seventh Circuit had been a bulwark of freedom. In Moore v. Madigan and, more recently, in Berron v. Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board, the court held that “the constitutional right to ‘keep and bear’ arms means that states must permit law-abiding and mentally healthy persons to carry loaded weapons in public.”

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Illinois rewrote its restrictive concealed-carry law after the Seventh Circuit ruled against it. For state residents, the qualifications for obtaining a permit include showing that they: are not a clear and present danger to themselves or a threat to public safety; have not been a patient in a mental hospital in the last five years; have not been convicted of a misdemeanor involving physical force or violence, and have not been in a drug or alcohol treatment program or convicted of two or more DUI or drug convictions.

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