The United States Supreme Court will decide whether to review the validity of a two-year-old weapons ordinance in Highland Park that bans the possession of semi-automatic weapons that can hold more than 10 rounds in a single ammunition clip or magazine. The ordinance is similar to several other “assault weapon bans” in effect in other Illinois municipalities, prominently in Chicago and Cook County, as well as in several other states.
Municipalities may recall that the Concealed Carry Act, which went into effect in 2013, provided a brief sunset provision which allowed municipalities to pass a weapons ordinance. After the sunset provision passed, all municipalities were preempted from passing any such ordinance.
The Illinois State Rifle Association raised the challenge to the Highland Park ordinance, arguing that the Second Amendment protects individual’s rights to own several weapons that would be illegal pursuant to the Highland Park ban. For example, one of the most popularly owned rifle types, the AR-15, with a commonly owned clip, is illegal under the ordinance.
So far, the federal district and appellate courts have upheld the ordinance as a permissible restriction.
Author: Brad Stewart