Supreme Court Shoots Down Challenge to Semiautomatic Weapons Ban

Supreme Court Shoots Down Challenge to Semiautomatic Weapons Ban

( – Democratic states across the United States have passed gun control laws that Conservatives had varying degrees of success tossing out. For example, the Supreme Court heard a challenge to a New York gun law in 2022 that made it nearly impossible for residents to get concealed carry permits. The high court tossed the century-old law out and expanded gun rights across the nation.

A year later, the justices have decided not to hear a challenge to another Democratic law.

Assault Weapons Ban

On July 4, 2022, a shooter killed seven people at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, a wealthy suburb of Chicago. Following the tragic event, the state legislature passed an assault weapons ban. Governor JB Pritzker (D) signed the Protect Illinois Communities Act, making it the law.

The law includes penalties for people who carry, possess, “manufactures, sells, delivers, imports, or purchases any assault weapon or .50 caliber rifle,” .50 caliber cartridge, or assault weapon attachment, as well as tools and kits that would allow someone to increase the firing rate of a semiautomatic weapon. The legislation allowed those who already owned one of the banned guns to keep them, but they were required to register the weapons by the end of the year.

Court Battles

The National Association for Gun Rights and Robert Bevis, the owner of the gun store Law Weapons & Supply, sued the state. In August, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the ban in a 4-3 decision. The plaintiffs appealed the case, but a three-judge panel with the 7th District US Court of Appeals refused to block the law.

The appeals court panel ruled the law was likely lawful because the Second Amendment applies to weapons used for self-defense, not military weapons. The judges ruled that high-capacity magazines and assault weapons are “more like machine guns and military-grade weaponry than they are […] firearms that are used for individual self-defense.”

In May, before the ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court and the 7th Circuit, the Supreme Court of the US refused to issue an injunction against the law. Now, the high court has once again refused to block the state ban. There were no dissents by any of the justices.

The case will now wind its way through the lower court and will probably make it back to the Supreme Court again. Fox News reported the National Association for Gun Rights President Dudley Brown issued a statement saying the SCOTUS decision has no impact on the case. However, he said, “A right delayed is a right denied, and every day these gun bans are enforced is a travesty to freedom.”

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