Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Illinois State Rifle Association leads Fight against Highland Park Semi-Auto and Magazine Ban

Friday, January 17, 2014

On December 12, 2013, NRA state affiliate Illinois State Rifle Association filed suit against the city of Highland Park, Ill., to invalidate the Chicago suburb’s comprehensive ban on popular semi-auto firearms and their magazines. The ISRA’s complaint for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, filed in the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Lake County, Ill., makes clear that Highland Park’s ban has “unconstitutionally infringed the fundamental right of law-abiding citizens under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes.”

The offending law prohibits the transfer and possession of any “assault weapon” or “large capacity magazine.” In defining “assault weapon,” Highland Park’s ordinance uses a feature test that looks to whether a firearm is capable of accepting a “large capacity magazine” and, if so, whether it has other specified attributes, such as a pistol grip or a telescoping stock. Highland Park’s definition of “large capacity magazine” is any magazine with a “capacity to accept more than ten rounds,” encompassing huge numbers of magazines that are standard equipment on popular firearms. The law has no exemptions allowing for the grandfathering of firearms owned prior to the ban and requires that all prohibited firearms and magazines be removed from the city, modified to be “permanently inoperable,” or surrendered to police by December 14, 2013. Violators of the law are “punishable by not more than six months imprisonment or a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1000, or both.”

The ban was hastily enacted by city council vote on June 6, 2013, in response to the state legislature’s passage of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. In addition to recognizing Illinoisans’ right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense, that act also contained a preemption provision barring localities from enacting their own gun laws. However, the Act grandfathered in any local ordinances that were enacted prior to, or within ten days of, the Governor signing the concealed carry legislation, and Highland Park joined several other Chicago suburbs in a race to pass new restrictions. At the time of passage, Highland Park Councilman David Naftzger, who registered the lone vote against the ban, presciently stated, “there’s no question in my mind about the specter of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars of litigation costs.”

The complaint notes at length the popularity of the rifles and magazines the city has chosen to ban, and is accompanied by sworn testimony reiterating this point. Drawing on the landmark Supreme Court decision in Heller, the complaint goes on to explain to the court that “[o]wnership of firearms that are commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, including self-defense in the home against a criminal intruder, is a fundamental right under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.” Further, the complaint notes that the city has no compelling interest in depriving citizens of this right.

The ISRA challenge to the Highland Park semi-auto ban is an important case for gun owners across the country. This case, along with similar cases in other jurisdictions, could help to determine how far the courts are willing to let governments go in restricting access to popular firearms and magazines. 

TRENDING NOW
Joe Biden: Hero Who Ended Texas Rampage Shouldn’t Have Had His Gun

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Joe Biden: Hero Who Ended Texas Rampage Shouldn’t Have Had His Gun

Most Americans consider Stephen Willeford a hero for bravely ending the rampage of a crazed murderer at a Texas church … but not former Vice President Joe Biden. During a national television appearance on Monday, ...

Muzzleloaders Now Targeted by “Giffords” Gun Prohibition Lobby

News  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Muzzleloaders Now Targeted by “Giffords” Gun Prohibition Lobby

It didn’t take long after the events in Las Vegas, Nevada for gun control advocates to resort to their usual tactic of blaming hardware for the acts of an evil man. Numerous anti-gun bills were ...

With ‘Firearm’ Offenses up 27-percent, UK Holds National Gun Surrender

News  

Friday, November 17, 2017

With ‘Firearm’ Offenses up 27-percent, UK Holds National Gun Surrender

Anti-gun advocates like Gun Control Network Chair Gillian Marshall-Andrews tout the United Kingdom’s longstanding firearms restrictions, which include a near total ban on handguns, as the “gold standard” of gun control. In recent years, UK ...

Terry McAuliffe’s Halfway Heroism

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Terry McAuliffe’s Halfway Heroism

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has recently been distinguished by Governing magazine as one of its “Public Officials of the Year.” According to the magazine, Gov. McAuliffe claims his “proudest single achievement” in office has been restoring ...

Gun Controllers Choose to Ignore Cases of Good Guys with Guns

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Gun Controllers Choose to Ignore Cases of Good Guys with Guns

Less than three hours after the tragedy at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was looking to score political points. As is his custom, Murphy fired off a tweet admonishing his ...

When Gun Control Fails

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 21, 2017

When Gun Control Fails

Gun control is pushed as a strategy to keep Americans safe in their homes, schools and workplaces. It is presented as the key component in safer streets, neighborhoods and families. But what happens when gun ...

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

News  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 2095, which she is calling the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017. The 125-page firearm prohibition fever dream is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.

This Man Did Not Write A Second (Class) Amendment

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 3, 2017

This Man Did Not Write A Second (Class) Amendment

Courts are telling gun owners that they must choose between their Second Amendment-protected rights and their other constitutional rights. 

News  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Who Qualifies for the LEOSA Privilege?

Within my first week as an attorney at the National Rifle Association of America's Institute for Legislative Action I took a call on the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). I admittedly knew nothing about ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.