A judge in Illinois has torpedoed a town’s plan for gun “regulation” that included both the confiscation and destruction of ordinary rifles.
The victory was announced Friday by the Second Amendment Foundation, which opposed a plan by the village of Deerfield to ban so-called “assault weapons.”
“We are delighted with the judge’s decision, which we hope sends a message to other municipal governments that they can’t try to sneak around the state’s preemption statute in an effort to ban legal firearms ownership,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb.
“Last year, we were granted a temporary injunction by the circuit court, and this order making it permanent simply solidifies our position,” he said.
SAF was joined by the Illinois State Rifle Association and Deerfield resident Daniel Easterday, a lawful firearms owner, in the lawsuit against the city.
They were represented by Glen Ellyn attorney David Sigale.
Gottlieb’s said the village council “had adopted the ban, claiming it was an amendment to an ordinance that was adopted a few years ago that was designed to ‘regulate’ firearms after the state passed its preemption statute in 2013.”
But the scheme didn’t convince 19th Judicial Circuit Judge Luis A. Berrones, who signed the permanent injunction.
“The gun ban ordinance contained language that would have allowed confiscation and destruction of so-called ‘assault weapons’ and their original capacity magazines, and levy fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refused to surrender their guns,” SAF said.
“This is the kind of legislative extremism has no place on American soil,” Gottlieb said. “The Deerfield Village Board tried to pull a fast one and the court stopped them. It’s just one more example of how the Second Amendment Foundation is winning firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time.”
The complaint SAF filed last year pointed out a 2013 amended state statute declares “the regulation of the possession or ownership of assault weapons are exclusive powers and functions of this state.”
Further, it states that 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.”
Gottlieb said the town is trying to impose “a new law that entirely bans possession of legally owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense.”
Deerfield defined the weapons it intended to destroy as “a semiautomatic rifle, pistol, or shotgun that has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition plus another feature(s) defined in the ordinance.”
That includes the common AR-15 rifle.
John Boch, president of Illinois-based Guns Save Life contended the measure violated his members’ constitutional rights.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that citizens have a constitutional right to keep a handgun in their home for self-protection, and the court extended those rights to the states in 2010.