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Court halts public housing gun ban, big win for Ill. rape victim
by Paul Bedard | April 11, 2019 03:27 PM
A federal court on Thursday cleared the way for an Illinois rape victim to have a gun in her public housing apartment to protect herself from further domestic violence, the latest judicial victory for Second Amendment advocates.
Senior Judge J. Phil Gilbert for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in Benton, Ill., issued a permanent injunction on the East St. Louis Housing Authority's gun ban, claiming it violated the Second and 14th Amendments letting citizens protect themselves.
He ordered the East St. Louis Housing Authority to erase the ban on guns for residents from its lease.
The lawsuit was filed last year by the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association. They filed on behalf of a woman, “N. Doe,” who had been raped and was scared of further abuse so she bought a gun. When the housing authority found out about the weapon, they threatened to kick her out of the facility.
The judge cited the District of Columbia v. Heller case that backs citizens rights to guns in their homes. It also cited the 14th Amendment ban on oppressive state rules. “Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” said the order.
It did not tackle other gun bans issued by the housing authority. Said the order, "This Order shall have no bearing on any ESLHA rule, regulation or lease provision with respect to residents, guests or non-residents brandishing firearms outside resident units, including in common areas within any development, except that doing so by a resident shall not constitute a lease violation if such is necessary for self-defense or defense of others in accordance with applicable law."
The gun rights groups were pleased.
“We are delighted with the judge’s decision, which we hope sends a message to other municipal governments that they can’t try to sneak around the two United States Supreme Court victories that SAF and its attorneys were involved in to further their efforts to ban legal firearms ownership,” said Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve had to challenge such a regulation. It is simply unacceptable for citizens living in public housing to be denied their basic right to have a firearm for personal protection, and in this case, it was unconscionable,” he added.
In the case, the unidentified woman said that she was able to stop her abuse by threatening her attacker with the gun.
“We’ve explained how she was beaten and raped in January 2017, and her children stopped the attack only by threatening to use a gun. On two other occasions, Ms. Doe had to call police due to shootings in nearby residences. When the housing authority threatened to terminate her lease due to the gun in her residence, they insisted that the building is safe, so she doesn’t need a gun. This kind of gun prohibition extremism has no place on American soil,” he said.
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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