Should the right to carry a gun only apply to those of us who have private transportation? Or is a gun ban justified when you’re talking about public transportation?
That’s an important question, especially since so many governments are trying to push more and more people to take public transit, supposedly to combat climate change.
And it’s a question that’s about to land in court in Illinois.
After a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision affirmed the right to carry firearms in public places for self defense, state laws that ban guns in “sensitive” locations are being challenged in the next era of the battle over the Second Amendment.
Amid the decision, pro-gun advocates have filed lawsuits attempting to walk back those state laws.
One such lawsuit was filed in Illinois to reverse the firearm ban on public transportation against Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and four different county state’s attorneys.
Filed on behalf of four individuals, the complaint asserts the plaintiffs should have a constitutional right to carry guns on public transportation and is asking for the law to be overturned as well as receive compensation for the costs of moving forward with the lawsuit.
“[The plaintiffs] all allege they would use public transportation either at all or more and they refrain from doing so because they don’t feel safe if they have to be disarmed when they do it,” said David Sigale, the attorney representing the plaintiffs.
Now, some may allege that there’s no reason to feel unsafe on public transportation. They may even talk about how they take public transportation and have never had any issues.
We’ve heard these arguments applied to pretty much everything else, after all.
So yeah, there are reasons to be concerned about one’s safety on Illinois mass transit.
It also seems the gun ban on public transportation doesn’t seem to be doing a whole hell of a lot to combat the issue. As such, it’s clear that people should be free to carry the means to defend themselves on public transportation.
Beyond that, however, is the fact that the right to keep and bear arms is the right to carry a firearm. While the Supreme Court has ruled that bans in “sensitive places” is constitutional, it’s unlikely they intended to classify public transit as such a place.
Further, this is going to disproportionately impact poorer folks since they’re the ones most likely to need public transportation in the first place. They may not have the option of driving themselves, which leaves buses and trains. Illinois’ gun ban prohibits them from carrying a gun, which means they’re essentially deprived of their right to keep and bear arms anywhere in the city beyond walking distance.
My hope is that this lawsuit overturns the gun ban itself and leads to a more widespread end to such bans.
Yes, I’m looking at you, New York City.