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AG Derek Schmidt: Second Amendment rights are not limited by state boundaries

Release Date: May 08, 2019

TOPEKA – (May 8, 2019) – Extreme restrictions by other states on the recognition of out-of-state concealed carry licenses unconstitutionally deprive Kansas travelers of their Second Amendment rights, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt last week told the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Kansas concealed carry permits are recognized by 40 states, including Kansas. But in the other 10 states, Kansans with valid concealed carry permits are not allowed to publicly carry a concealed firearm. Illinois is one of those remaining states that does not recognize Kansas permits.

In the legal brief filed last week, Schmidt and 15 other state attorneys general asked the full circuit court to reconsider a recent ruling by a three-judge panel upholding an Illinois statute that categorically prohibits the residents of 45 states from publicly carrying firearms in Illinois. Kansas is one of the states whose concealed carry permits are not recognized by Illinois.

“Americans do not lose their constitutional rights when they cross state lines,” the attorneys general wrote. “The Second Amendment right belongs to all Americans. That right extends to self-defense outside the home. But for most out-of-state residents, it stops at the Illinois border.”

The brief argues that the three-judge panel erred when it upheld the Illinois law depriving residents of Kansas and other states of their Second Amendment rights when they cross the border into Illinois. Illinois recognizes only concealed carry permits issued by Illinois, and out-of-state residents are allowed to apply for an Illinois permit only if the laws in their state of residence are considered “substantially similar” to Illinois’. But the determination whether another state’s law is “substantially similar” – and, thus, that state’s residents may apply for an Illinois permit – is made exclusively by the Illinois State Police with no avenue for that determination to be challenged. At this time, only four states qualify.

“Illinois not only has no basis for presuming that [citizens of other states] are not entitled to exercise their Second Amendment rights, it offers them no opportunity to prove otherwise,” the attorneys general wrote.

The case is Culp v. Raoul, No. 17-2998. A copy of the states’ brief is available at http://bit.ly/2LuwGTj

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