II. Second Amendment
¶ 15 In addition, defendant argues his conviction under the AUUW statute violates his right to keep and bear arms under the second amendment of the United States Constitution.
After the filing of this appeal, however, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion finding Illinois's AUUW statute unconstitutional. See Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933 (7th Cir. 2012).1 Nonetheless, the decision is not binding on Illinois courts. People v. Stansberry, 47 Ill. 2d 541, 544-45 (1971). Without a ruling from the United States Supreme Court, a split often exists between the lower federal courts.2 Id. at 545. As the United States Supreme Court has not yet ruled on this question, the Seventh Circuit's decision in Moore constitutes at most persuasive authority.
Regarding the constitutionality of the AUUW statute, we do not find the Seventh Circuit's reasoning in Moore persuasive. We find it important to note again that the Court in "Heller and McDonald specifically limited its rulings to interpreting the second amendment's protection of the right to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense purposes, not the right to possess handguns outside of the home." Aguilar, 408 Ill. App. 3d at 148. Accordingly, we do not agree with the Seventh Circuit that the right to self-defense delineated in Heller and McDonald encompasses a right to carry a loaded, readily accessible firearm in public areas. Given the line of contrary precedent in Illinois courts on this issue, we see no reason to adopt the decision in Moore.
The first time this notion came up - Paul Castiglione, policy director for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, told lawmakers there is no need for a new law.
“Only the Illinois Supreme Court can declare a statue from (the legislature) unconstitutional,” Castiglione told lawmakers Tuesday. “I heard (someone) say that after 180 days our UUW (unlawful use of weapon) statute is unconstitutional. Not so.”
It seemed a bit farcical, but now we have a judge saying somethig similar in an opinion. If they were saying that Moore doesn't give a convicted felon the right to carry a handgun - I could see that, but that doesn't seem to be what the judge is saying.