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2A group wins injunction against IL town’s ‘assault weapon’ ban

A short-barreled rifle (WikiMedia)
June 13, 2018

A circuit court judge in Illinois on Tuesday granted an injunction against the Chicago village of Deerfield that temporarily blocks a ban on so-called “assault weapons” after the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) filed a lawsuit.

The village deadline to hand over any such weapons, including the AR-15, was June 13 before a fine of up to $1,000 per gun, per day could become a reality. Residents were told to hand over their weapons to police or destroy them.

In April, the Deerfield Village Board voted unanimously in favor to restrict some semi-automatic firearms by June 13.

The new law defined an “assault weapon” to include semiautomatic rifles that have a fixed magazine with a capacity to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition; shotguns with a revolving cylinder; and semiautomatic pistols and rifles that can accept large-capacity magazines and possess one of a list of other features. Only the mentioned weapons would be regulated.

The Second Amendment Foundation, along with the Illinois State Rifle Association and Deerfield resident Daniel Easterday, filed a lawsuit on April 5 on the grounds that the ban violates the state’s pre-emption law that was adopted in 2013.

The amended state statute confirmed that “the regulation of the possession or ownership of assault weapons are exclusive powers and functions of this State. Any ordinance or regulation, or portion of that ordinance or regulation, that purports to regulate the possession or ownership of assault weapons in a manner that is inconsistent with this Act, shall be invalid.”

Following a short grace period, municipalities in the state could change or adopt their gun laws.

Deerfield upheld that its ban was simply an amendment to an earlier ordinance that regulated firearms.

In 2013, a neighboring community approved an ordinance that was very similar to Deerfield’s.

A lawsuit was filed by gun rights advocates, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled in the city’s favor.

“We moved swiftly to challenge this gun ban because it flew in the face of state law. The village tried to disguise its extremism as an amendment to an existing ordinance. The ordinance bans possession of legally-owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense,” said Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and executive vice president.

“Worse, still, the ordinance also provided for confiscation and destruction of such firearms and their original capacity magazines. It was outrageous that the ban would levy fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refused to turn in their gun and magazines or move them out of the village. This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that ‘nobody is coming to take your guns,” he added.