Today, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of a case which upheld the banning of semiautomatic assault weapons in Highland Park, Illinois. Two Justices, Alito and Thomas, disagreed with the decision to not review the case. The case had been closely watched but gun rights activists and is of significant 2nd Amendment importance.
In 2013 the city of Highland Park Illinois enacted a local ordinance banning high capacity magazines with more than 10 bullets and also banned assault weapons. The Highland Park ordinance was in response to a Federal Court of Appeals decision which ordered the State of Illinois to enact a conceal and carry mechanism. The Illinois legislature gave municipalities 10 days to enact restrictions. Highland Park was one of only 20 municipalities in Illinois, all around the Chicago area, to actually impose restrictions on guns. A Highland Park resident, along with the Illinois State Rifle Association, filed suit alleging that the ban was unreasonable because it banned some of the most popular semi-automatic weapons as well as magazines with more than a 10 round capacity. In a 2 to 1 decision the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Highland Park ordinance by finding that the ban was allowed the 2nd Amendment. Today, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of the Court of Appeals decision upholding the ban. By refusing to hear the case, the United States Supreme Court has upheld the banning of semi-automatic assault weapons. Seven other states have enacted laws similar to Highland Park which ban assault weapons.
In 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that established the right to own a firearm inside the home for self defense. But since Heller, towns and states continue to impose restrictions upon that right. Since Heller, the Supreme Court has refused to strike down any restriction that has been challenged before the Supreme Court. So by refusing to take any case challenging any restriction, the Court seems to be saying that states and towns have great leeway in imposing restrictions on the right to own a gun.
The case is Friedman v. Highland Park.
James Dimeas is an award winning Chicago criminal defense attorney and author with more than 23 years of experience aggressively representing his clients in UUW cases. If you have a UUW case in Illinois, contact me in Chicago (312-229-5500), DuPage and Kane (630-504-2096) or Lake (847-696-6458) for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.