The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to take up a case challenging a Chicago assault weapons ban that went into effect in 2013.
The highest court in the land has decided to pass up on a case challenging a 2013 assault weapons ban law, citing their reluctance to jump into the current gun debate. Instead, they suggest lower courts will tackle this case.
Highland Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, passed this law in June 2013 in response to mass shooting incidents occurring across the country. It forbids the sale, purchase, and possession of semi-automatic firearms that boast magazines exceeding 10 rounds of ammunition. It specifically applies to guns resembling AR-15 and AK-47 assault-style firearms. This move has been criticized by opponents of the ban given the popularity and utility of AR-15 guns in self-defense and home protection.
Similar bans like that seen in the Chicago suburb are also found in gun control havens such as California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, and other Chicago suburbs. Not surprisingly, supporters of further restrictions on firearms use have welcomed this move by SCOTUS.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, along with Justice Antonin Scalia, dissented and criticized fellow justices for ignoring Second Amendment precedents set in DC vs. Heller and McDonald vs. Chicago by not taking this case. Thomas wrote:
The City of Highland Park, Illinois, bans manufacturing, selling, giving, lending, acquiring, or possessing many of the most commonly owned semiautomatic firearms,which the City branded “Assault Weapons.”… For instance, the ordinance criminalizes modern sporting rifles (e.g., AR-style semi-automatic rifles), which many Americans own for lawful purposes like self-defense, hunting, and target shooting. The City also prohibited “Large Capacity Magazines,” a term the City used to refer to nearly all ammunition feeding devices that “accept more than ten rounds.”
Alternatively, many residents have opposed this ban citing its unfair targeting of responsible gun owners for the actions of criminals. After concealed carry laws went into effect in Chicago in 2014, crime rates had noticeably dropped.
Illinois is the ninth worst place for gun owners in the U.S. Chicago has been dubbed the homicide capital of the United States. As Americans continue to oppose greater gun control measures, judges shouldn’t restrict rights afforded under the Second Amendment.