News & Politics

Judge Overturns Assault Weapons Ban in Deerfield, Illinois

Judge Overturns Assault Weapons Ban in Deerfield, Illinois
(Chris Melzer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

In a clear victory for the Second Amendment, a Lake County judge has ruled that the city of Deerfield, Ill., violated state law when they passed an ordinance banning the sale and possession of various weapons and large capacity magazines.

The ban was a reaction to the school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018.

The judge, Luis Berrones, backed the plaintiffs, which included the Illinois State Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, and Daniel Easterday. Berrones minced no words in issuing the permanent injunction.

Daily Caller:

According to The Chicago Tribune, Judge Luis Berrones issued a permanent injunction against the Chicago suburb, writing that the plaintiff firearm owners have “a clearly ascertainable right to not be subjected to a preempted and unenforceable ordinance” that bans them from having these firearms, mandates monetary fines for possessing them and enables law enforcement to seize these firearms.

The legal challenge to the ban was based on a 2013 Illinois state law that gave municipalities a 10-day window to pass a ban on AK-47s and other such weapons prior to the concealed carry law going into effect. Deerfield failed to take action at that time, which led to the injunction:

“The NRA is proud to have supported this challenge to Deerfield’s ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This ruling affirms that every law-abiding Deerfield resident has the right to protect themselves, their homes, and their loved ones with the firearm that best suits their needs.”

The court found that Deerfield’s attempt to amend an existing firearm ordinance was a violation of state law. The ordinance would have allowed local authorities to confiscate and destroy semi-automatic rifles and standard capacity magazines possessed within village limits.

A similar firearms ban on the same type of semi-automatic rifles went into effect last January in Boulder, Colorado and gun rights groups reacted similarly to those in Deerfield, Illinois.

Banning the sale of AK-47s and AR-15s is bad enough. But actual confiscation of legally purchased firearms? You would hope that judges across the country would take note of Judge Berrone’s decision, although his legal reasoning was based on a law specific to Illinois.

The ban and confiscation were passed in the heat of the moment following a tragedy. That is the absolute worst time to make law and Deerfield should take that lesson to heart.