Tuesday, a federal appeals court in Chicago ruled that the state's concealed weapons ban is unconstitutional and it can no longer keep the ban. John Meek, owner of Midwestern Firearms Co. in East Peoria, has waited for this day since he moved to Illinois, more than 10 years ago.
"The right to protect ourselves as we travel or the right to protect ourselves as we're out and about it exciting news," said Meek.
The court voted 2 to 1 in favor of ordering the removal of the ban. Illinois is the only state without a concealed carry law. Now, the state has six months to pass a law that allows people to carry weapons in public.
This is very good news for Meek, who predicts gun sales to spike following the implementation of a new law. Recently, He's already received an increase in applications for people interested in purchasing guns for their homes.
"Concealed carry, holsters, accessories for that purpose would be certainly great for a gun owner or a gun shop," he said.
State Representative Mike Unes (R-91) says the decision in monumental for supporters of the second amendment and "it's about time" citizens are able to use their constitutional rights.
"I think it only makes sense," said Unes. "Not only is it our constitutional right, but it makes sense to have freedom to be able to protect ourselves and to protect our families, knowing that the bad guys aren't going to follow the rules anyway."
Unes believes a concealed carry would decrease the crime rate in Illinois cities.
However, isn't sold that the battle over gun control is over. He says the state's track record against gun possession leads him to believe there will be obstacles, regardless if a new bill is passed. He fears that the state will only pass a bill with heavy regulations and will make it too difficult to get a gun license.
"We think that its going to be a battle to get it where the average person will have that right," Meek said. "We think it will be restrictive. It'll be difficult to get that right, even though it will be required by law."
Still, he says any form of concealed carry is a step in the right direction.
Rep. Unes says he does not know how quickly new laws will be implemented.