Illinois high court says gun ban near parks unconstitutional

CHICAGO (AP) – The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a state law banning guns within 1,000 feet of public parks violates the Second Amendment right to self-defense.

Thursday’s decisive 7-0 ruling vacates the 2013 conviction of Julio Chairez for carrying a gun near a park in Aurora, west of Chicago.

The 25-page opinion calls the law “a severe burden on the recognized…right of self-defense,” in part because it offers no exceptions for law-abiding citizens.

It notes Chicago has more than 600 city parks, so a 1,000-foot restrictive zone would bar the possession of legal guns in vast areas.

The ruling also finds that, under such a law, “innocent behavior could swiftly be transformed into” a crime, if people living near parks simply walk from their houses to their cars carrying a legal gun.

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