Acting swiftly to derail what it calls an “outrageous” measure, the Second Amendment Foundation on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Village of Deerfield, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, that adopted an ordinance earlier this week to ban so-called “assault weapons” and “large capacity magazines.”
SAF is joined in the lawsuit by the Illinois State Rifle Association, and this is not their first joint legal action. They also teamed up on the landmark federal lawsuit against the City of Chicago’s handgun ban that was nullified by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2010. That case is known as McDonald v. City of Chicago.
This counts as at least the seventh time SAF has filed a legal action in Illinois, said attorney David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Ill. He is representing SAF and its partners.
According to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, the lawsuit challenges the village ordinance under state preemption. While the village maintains this ban is simply an amendment to an ordinance adopted in 2013, SAF argues that it is a new ordinance because it contains no exceptions for guns or magazines previously owned, or any provision for using such guns in self-defense.
The Chicago Tribune quoted Village Manager Kent Street, who maintains that the ban is a legal amendment to the existing 2013 ordinance that defined “assault weapons.” That ordinance was adopted during a 10-day “window” that allowed Illinois home-rule jurisdictions to act before the state’s then-new Firearm Concealed Carry Act, with its preemption provision, took effect that year.
This new amendment, Street told the Tribune, is “modeled” after a ban adopted by Highland Park, Ill., five years ago. That ban did survive a legal challenge by ISRA and a Highland Park resident, and it was upheld by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed that ruling to stand, the newspaper recalled.
Gottlieb said in a statement that, “What is particularly outrageous about this new law is that it levies fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refuses to turn in their gun and magazines or move them out of the village by the time the ordinance takes effect in June. This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that ‘nobody is coming to take your guns.’”
There is an exemption for retired police officers.
CBS News quoted the ordinance language, which says, “The possession, manufacture and sale of assault weapons in the Village of Deerfield is not reasonably necessary to protect an individual’s right of self-defense or the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia.”