Supreme Court Leaves Chicago-area Assault Weapons Ban Intact
The Supreme Court has left intact a Chicago area gun law banning “assault weapons.”
How’d that happen? They declined to take the case. But they should have. The door is now open to other jurisdictions for banning AR style weapons. The left’s fear of guns has run the conversation. High capacity magazines and the ability to fire rounds in rapid succession is a source of extreme fear- and the courts have used that to push the agenda forward. And the timing of the shootings in San Bernardino likely didn’t help matters.
Should have taken the case
Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said the Supreme Court should have taken the case. Thomas wrote their dissent, said the court should have granted review to prevent the appeals court “from relegating the Second Amendment to a second-class right.”
Central to the dispute was a 2008 Supreme Court decision that for the first time said the Constitution’s Second Amendment provides an individual right to own a handgun for self defense. While it was a watershed ruling for gun rights, it also said “dangerous and unusual weapons” can be restricted.
Are AR style weapons “unusual?”
The case was brought against Highland Park, Illinois’ gun law by the Illinois State Rifle Association. The law was challenged because it was classifying AR-style weapons as “unusual. ” AR weapons are the most popular weapons in the United States. (Highland Park is a suburb 26 miles north of Chicago.)
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals left the law intact as well. Lawyers from 24 states had urged the Supreme court to strike down Highland Park’s ordinance. Their urging apparently fell on deaf ears.
Are these laws the toughest in the nation?
Chicago City had 2,477 people arrested on gun charges from Jan – end of September. September saw 250 shootings, 55 people killed, 288 wounded in what is described as the bloodiest month on record.
Chicago authorities claim their gun laws are not the toughest in the nation because they don’t have the harshest punishment for offenders who commit gun crimes.
But similar laws against “assault weapons” exist in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and of course, in Chicago. That list is now likely to grow.
All in all, the Supreme Court did a horrific injustice to the Second Amendment on Monday. The lower courts have worked hard to destroy our right to keep and bear arms for the last 7 years. Now the highest court in the land has made a loophole for anti-gun legislators to wreak havoc with our rights.
“…the lower courts have assiduously worked to sap it of any real meaning. They have upheld severe restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms that would be unthinkable in the context of any other constitutional right.” Illinois State Rifle Association