Texas Law Shield salutes Mary Shepard, 74, who was the lead plaintiff in Shepard v. Madigan, the legal fight in Illinois that helped end the state’s ban on concealed carry. This week, Ms. Shepard received one of the state’s first permits to carry a handgun in public. She deserves a hearty round of applause.
Shepard sued state Attorney General Lisa M. Madigan and other state officials in 2011, after Shepard was assaulted by an intruder while she was working as a treasurer at First Baptist Church in Anna, Illinois. Shepard has argued that had she not been barred from carrying a gun, she could have thwarted the attack.
The Illinois State Rifle Association, the NRA’s state affiliate, was co-plaintiff. The National Rifle Association funded and supported the lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
The Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in December 2012 that the prohibition was unconstitutional. Illinois state officials didn’t write carry regulations until they were forced to by the court.
Illinois State Police have approved roughly 5,000 concealed-carry applications. About 46,000 applications have been submitted, putting the state on track to field nearly 300,000 applications this year.
Despite the gains, Texas Law Shield sees Illinois’ new law as needing further improvement.
Prospective CCW candidates will need to be thoroughly educated in the law’s intricacies to ensure they don’t inadvertently run afoul of the law.