EAST ST. LOUIS • The Illinois State Rifle Association and the victim of a brutal beating filed a federal lawsuit in East St. Louis Friday, claiming that Illinois statutes that bar the carrying of firearms violate the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The suit named Illinois state officials and the sheriff and state's attorney of Union County. It says that Cobden, Ill., resident Mary E. Shepard was brutally beaten while working at her church on September 28, 2009. Her attacker also beat an 83-year-old woman at the church.
The suit says that while Shepard is licensed to carry a firearm in Florida and Pennsylvania, she is barred from doing so in Illinois. Had she been allowed to carry a gun, she would have been able to protect herself and her co-worker, the suit says.
The Second Amendment guarantees the "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" and the Fourteenth, in part, bars laws "which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens."
Shepard's attorneys could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.
Earlier this month, the Illinois House failed to pass a proposal that would have legalized concealed carry. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn had vowed to veto the bill.