The Illinois State Rifle Association is challenging a current ban on assault weapons and it is being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.
An Illinois firearms advocacy group, The Illinois State Rifle Association, is challenging a ban that was put on assault rifles and firearms such as those based on the AR-15 and AK-47 platforms in Highland Park, Illinois.
The Supreme Court is considering the issue and may soon hear the case. Key to the advocacy group’s appeal is the previous Supreme Court’s 2008 decision that recognized the possession of handguns for self-defense under the Second Amendment as an individual right. The 2008 decision was an important victory for gun-rights advocates but it also stated that “dangerous and unusual weapons” can be restricted.
The Illinois State Rifle Association is against the 2013 ordinance banning firearms such as assault weapons within Highland Park, a suburban neighborhood near Chicago. The ban prohibits the possession, sale and purchase of semi-automatic weapons that can hold more than 10 rounds in a magazine. The ordinance was supported by a federal district judge and a federal appeals court panel by a narrow margin when it was passed.
In a friend-of-court brief to the Supreme Court, lawyers for 24 states urged that ordinances that ban weapons at the municipal level, such as in Highland Park, are commonly used but are also protected by state laws that prohibit local communities from restricting them.
The Illinois Rifle Association argues that the AR-15 type firearms are far from unusual and it is the best- selling rifle platform in the U.S. They also counter that the ban is unconstitutional. Further, they stated, there have been more than five million AR-15 type rifles manufactured in the U.S. and 3.4 million more have been imported.
If the law is struck down it could be a watershed moment as there are similar bans in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and in Chicago and surrounding towns and cities.