Shepard, whose permit arrival was first reported by WSIL-TV in Harrisburg, Ill., became a gun-rights activist after she was randomly assaulted by an intruder while working as a treasurer at First Baptist Church in Anna. She has argued that had she not been barred from carrying a gun, she could have thwarted the attack.
After Shepard sued to have the state's concealed carry ban thrown out, the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in December 2012 that the prohibition was unconstitutional. After months of debate, Illinois lawmakers last summer narrowly beat a federal court deadline and adopted the concealed carry law over Gov.Pat Quinn's vehement objections — something Shepard called Thursday "a great victory."Keep in mind that it is not that any particular individual who is at risk is ever likely to use a gun in self-defense -- but there is clearly a deterrent effect on the small percentage of violent criminals who are capable of rational evaluation of risk.