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Gun Ban Upheld, Federal Appellate Court Uses "Feelings" to Justify It

Friday, May 1, 2015

Gun Ban Upheld, Federal Appellate Court Uses "Feelings" to Justify It

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision on Monday allowing a Chicago-area gun and magazine ban to stand. Such bans are justifiable, according to the court, merely on the basis that they "may increase the public's sense of safety."

The case, Friedman v. Highland Park, was filed in 2013, and sought to invalidate a city ordinance that banned "assault weapons or large capacity magazines (those that can accept more than ten rounds)."  Highland Park was one of several Chicago suburbs that hastily enacted municipal ordinances regulating or banning the possession of "assault weapons" before the state's 2013 concealed carry law preempted home-rule authority to do so.

This week, in a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel upheld the ban. According to the majority opinion, "A ban on assault weapons won't eliminate gun violence in Highland Park, but it may reduce overall dangerousness of crime that does occur …." Remarkably, the majority went on to suggest that even if the ban's incursion on Second Amendment rights had no beneficial effect on safety whatsoever, it could still be justified on the basis of the false sense of security it might impart to local residents. "[I]f it has no other effect," the majority wrote, "Highland Park's ordinance may increase the public's sense of safety. Mass shootings are rare, but they are highly salient, and people tend to overestimate the likelihood of salient events."
"If a ban on semiautomatic guns and large-capacity magazines reduces the perceived risk from a mass shooting, and makes the public feel safer as a result, that's a substantial benefit," the opinion argued. 
The majority acknowledged that "assault weapons" can be beneficial for self-defense because they are lighter and more accurate than alternative options and can be wielded more effectively by householders. Yet they quickly threw their own logic aside to reassert the city's interest in reducing perceived risk over the tangible benefits that that modern firearms provide to their owners. "If a ban on semiautomatic guns and large-capacity magazines reduces the perceived risk from a mass shooting, and makes the public feel safer as a result, that's a substantial benefit," the opinion argued.

Judge Daniel Anthony Manion dissented from the majority opinion.  Manion forcefully and persuasively argued that the ruling opinion is "at odds with the central holdings in Heller and McDonald: that the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home."

He went on to press the point that only individuals "make the ultimate decision for what constitutes the most effective means of defending one's home, family, and property." In stark contrast to the majority, Judge Manion was willing to recognize the constitutional dimensions that individual choice makes in the Second Amendment realm, just as it does with other fundamental rights. "Ultimately, it is up to the lawful gun owner and not the government to decide these matters," he wrote.

Judge Manion's reminder that when it comes to our fundamental rights, "The government recognizes these rights; it does not confer them," cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, his colleagues refused to uphold their duty to recognize either the right at stake or Highland Park's violation of it. Rest assured, however, that your NRA will continue the fight to see that injustice corrected.

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Illinois: House Passes Bill for Firearm Surrender Without Due Process

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Illinois: House Passes Bill for Firearm Surrender Without Due Process

On May 23rd, the Illinois state House of Representatives voted 80-32 to pass House Amendment 2 to House Bill 2354 to allow Second Amendment rights to be revoked without due process.  HA 2 to HB 2354 now ...

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

On May 23rd, the Massachusetts state House of Representatives will be voting on House Bill 4517, which would allow firearms to be seized from individuals following baseless accusations without proper due process.

Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Yesterday, NRA filed a legal challenge in the Thurston County Superior Court objecting to the misleading and inadequate ballot title for Initiative 1639, which seeks to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of Washington's law-abiding citizens.  The Thurston ...

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

The Illinois state House of Representatives can take action any day on House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 2580 to expand the 72 hour waiting period to all firearms.  On May 24th, the Illinois state ...

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

Hunting  

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic ...

Illinois: House Considering New Bill to Shut Down Your Gun Store

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Illinois: House Considering New Bill to Shut Down Your Gun Store

Today, the Illinois state House Judiciary-Criminal Committee voted 8-3 to pass Senate Amendment 3 to Senate Bill 337, which would shut down your local gun stores with onerous red tape and regulations.  Governor Bruce Rauner ...

New Jersey Action Needed: Senate Committee Passes Multiple Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New Jersey Action Needed: Senate Committee Passes Multiple Gun Control Bills

Yesterday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee considered and passed multiple anti-gun measures. 

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.

Washington Times  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Elizabeth Warren vows to refuse NRA money after never receiving such donations in the past

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has vowed to do something about mass shootings by refusing to accept campaign donations from the National Rifle Association, even though she’s never received any money from the organization in the past.

News  

Friday, April 27, 2018

NRA Statement on Yeti

The National Rifle Association released the following statement from in response to Yeti’s inaccurate statements:

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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.