July 13, 2024

U.S. Supreme Court Temporarily Upholds Illinois’ “Assault Weapons” Ban

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the temporary implementation of Illinois’ ban on “assault weapons.” The ban will remain in effect while lower courts assess its constitutionality.

Under the law, the sale and new possession of semi-automatic “assault weapons” and large capacity magazines are prohibited. However, current owners of such firearms are not required to surrender them.

The Supreme Court’s decision was issued without an explanation, and there were no reported dissents. The ruling has disappointed the National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR), a legal group associated with a gun store that sought an injunction against the ban. Despite this setback, the NFGR remains committed to challenging the ban in court.

Currently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit is actively reviewing the case. The injunction request was directed to Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

In January, Illinois enacted the Protect Illinois Communities Act, which bans the sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, and importation of “assault weapons” and large capacity magazines. Exceptions are made for law enforcement, military members, and certain professionals with firearm training. The law specifically identifies the AR-15 and AK-47 rifles and mandates registration of semi-automatic rifle ownership with state police.

The final ruling from the 7th Circuit is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court. Previously, a federal judge in Illinois’ Southern District had granted an injunction against the enforcement of the gun law. However, Appellate Judge Frank Easterbrook overturned this decision, a stance that was subsequently upheld by both the 7th Circuit and the Supreme Court.

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