Illinois town that banned ‘assault weapons’ sued by gun rights groups

The Chicago suburb that voted to ban “assault rifles” Monday was sued Thursday by the Second Amendment Foundation. (Dave Workman)

The Chicago suburb of Deerfield, which adopted a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and their magazines, has been sued by the Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association, alleging that the gun ban violates a 2013 state statute that includes a preemption clause against such local actions.

SAF and ISRA are joined by Deerfield resident Daniel Easterday, who is a gun owner in the village.

While the village maintains this ban is simply an amendment to an ordinance adopted in 2013, SAF argues that it is a new ordinance because it contains no exceptions for guns or magazines previously owned, or any provision for using such guns in self-defense.

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CBS News quoted the ordinance language, which says, “The possession, manufacture and sale of assault weapons in the Village of Deerfield is not reasonably necessary to protect an individual’s right of self-defense or the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia.”

The ban is scheduled to take effect June 13.

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb said in a statement that, “What is particularly outrageous about this new law is that it levies fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refuses to turn in their gun and magazines or move them out of the village by the time the ordinance takes effect in June. This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that ‘nobody is coming to take your guns.’”

The Chicago Tribune quoted Village Manager Kent Street, who maintains that the ban is a legal amendment to the existing 2013 ordinance that defined “assault weapons.” That ordinance was adopted during a 10-day “window” that allowed Illinois home-rule jurisdictions to act before the state’s then-new Firearm Concealed Carry Act, with its preemption provision, took effect that year.

This new amendment, Sreet told the newspaper, is “modeled” after a ban adopted by Highland Park, Ill., five years ago. That ban did survive a legal challenge by ISRA and a Highland Park resident, and it was upheld by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed that ruling to stand, the newspaper recalled.

Plaintiffs are represented by Glen Allyn attorney David Sigale, who said this makes at least the seventh time SAF has filed a legal action in Illinois since the 2010 landmark case of McDonald v. City of Chicago. That lawsuit went to the U.S. Supreme Court and nullified the Chicago handgun ban. It also incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment.


Illinois town passes ban on ‘assault weapons,’ imposes fines of $1,000 per day

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