Illinois Ban on Handgun Carry Struck Down

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In a victory for the Second Amendment and self defense advocates everywhere, Judge Richard Posner ruled in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Tuesday that the Illinois ban on carrying a firearm outside of the home for self-defense purposes is unconstitutional.

“One doesn’t have to be a historian to realize that a right to keep and bear arms for personal self-defense in the eighteenth century could not rationally have been limited to the home. . . .  Twenty-first century Illinois has no hostile Indians. But a Chicagoan is a good deal more likely to be attacked on a sidewalk than in his apartment on the 35th floor,” Posner said.

Illinois resident, trained gun owner and concealed carry permit holder for Utah and Florida Mary Shepard is the lead plaintiff in the case and received funding for the case from the National Rifle Association. The Illinois State Rifle and Pistol Association joined Shepard as a co-plaintiff in the case.

Shepard filed the case after she and an 83-year-old co-worker were violently attacked inside their church by a 245 pound criminal with a long rap sheet back in 2009. Shepard and her co-worker luckily survived, but each had to recover from many severe injuries to their heads, necks and upper bodies. Shepard has undergone many extensive surgeries and attends ongoing physical therapy to recover.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for all law abiding citizens in Illinois and gun owners throughout the country,” Executive Vice President of the NRA Wayne LaPierre said. “The court recognized that the text and history of the Second Amendment guarantee individuals the right to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense and other lawful purposes. In light of this ruling, Mary Shepard and the people of Illinois will finally be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Until today, Illinois was the only state to have a complete ban on the carry of firearms.



One commentor said:

puravida_gringo Wrote: 2 hours ago (5:29 PM)

Not that this 7th Circuit ruling has come out with this ruling, here what will happen folks:

1. The State of Illinois will appeal this.
2. Should the State lose the appeal, or, surprise they don’t appeal, they will copy Maryland and make it as onerous as possible to get a handgun permit for just open carry.
3. They will fight like crazy to prevent a CCW law from passing.
4. Whatever the State does, Chicago will make their laws even more restrictive, like Washington D.C. has now.
5. So, expect another year or two before the law abiding citizens of Illinois can own and carry firearms legally.


Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations

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Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet.

The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases, according to the Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents.

The use of the equipment raises serious questions about eavesdropping without a warrant, particularly since recordings of passengers could be obtained and used by law enforcement agencies.

It also raises questions about security, since the IP audio-video systems can be accessed remotely via a built-in web server (.pdf), and can be combined with GPS data to track the movement of buses and passengers throughout the city.

The RoadRecorder 7000 surveillance system being marketed for use on public buses consists of a high-definition IP camera and audio recording system that can be configured remotely via built-in web server.

According to the product pamphlet for the RoadRecorder 7000 system made by SafetyVision (.pdf), “Remote connectivity to the RoadRecorder 7000 NVR can be established via the Gigabit Ethernet port or the built-in 3G modem. A robust software ecosystem including LiveTrax vehicle tracking and video streaming service combined with SafetyNet central management system allows authorized users to check health status, create custom alerts, track vehicles, automate event downloads and much more.”

The systems use cables or WiFi to pair audio conversations with camera images in order to produce synchronous recordings. Audio and video can be monitored in real-time, but are also stored onboard in blackbox-like devices, generally for 30 days, for later retrieval. Four to six cameras with mics are generally installed throughout a bus, including one near the driver and one on the exterior of the bus.

Cities that have installed the systems or have taken steps to procure them include San Francisco, California; Eugene, Oregon; Traverse City, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; Baltimore Maryland; Hartford, Connecticut; and Athens, Georgia.

San Francisco transit authorities recently approved a $5.9 million contract to install an audio surveillance system on 357 buses and vintage trolley cars, paid for in full with a grant from DHS. The contract includes the option to expand the equipment to an additional 600 vehicles.

Concord, New Hampshire also used part of a $1.2 million economic stimulus grant to install its new video/audio surveillance system on buses, according to the Daily.

Transit officials say the systems will help improve the safety of passengers and drivers and resolve complaints from riders. But privacy and security expert Ashkan Soltani told the Daily that the audio could easily be coupled with facial recognition systems or audio recognition technology to identify passengers caught on the recordings.


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Here are only a few of the comments about this article:

Trey Palmer16 hours ago

Hmm. Could we get an ordnance that equivalent systems be installed in mayoral, council and county supervisor, police and sheriff offices? Also in their vehicles as well? After all, it is publicly provided spaces and transportation and they should have nothing to fear from this as well.

  • Scottie Sharpe Trey Palmer2 hours ago

    Apparently, so long as you have a public notice sign, it cancels out the effects of Constitutional Law.

  • znapel Trey Palmer11 hours ago

    We’ve already seen what happens when police are recorded. Luckily the courts seem to be favoring citizens rights, but it’s sad that it had to come to that. Recording is for everyone’s safety, unless the focus flips. Then it becomes ‘interference’ or a ‘threat to security’.