Illinois Supreme Court Overturns Gun Conviction, Keeps Ban For Minors
By Brian Mackey
Illinois' old law banning the concealed carry of firearms took another hit Thursday.
A federal court already found it unconstitutional last year. Now the Illinois Supreme Court has taken the same position.
Alberto Aguilar was 17 when Chicago police arrested him for having a loaded handgun with the serial number scratched off.
He was convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm and sentenced to 24 months probation.
While his appeal was pending before the Illinois Supreme Court, a federal court in Chicago struck down Illinois' ban on public gun possession, finding it violated the U.S. Constitution. The Illinois legislature also legalized concealed carry starting next year.
Fast forward to the present day, and the Illinois Supreme Court is taking the same view on gun rights.
Ultimately, however, the decision is mixed for Aguilar. Although his conviction under the possession law was overturned, he was also convicted of a different crime, under a law that says it's illegal for minors to have guns. The Illinois Supreme Court says that behavior is not protected by the Constitution, and upheld the conviction.
The case is People v. Aguilar (pdf).
In a separate decision Thursday, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled a 1992 conviction for domestic battery should not necessarily prohibit a man from getting his Firearm Owners Identification card.
That case is Coram v. State of Illinois (pdf).