Illinois Assault Weapons Ban Temporarily Allowed by Supreme Court While Case Plays Out in Lower Court

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The decision handed down by the SCOTUS this week came after an injunction against the ban was requested by an Illinois gun shop owner. File photo: ShutterStock.com, licensed.

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Following a newly-imposed ban in the state of Illinois on semi-automatic assault weapons – such as AR-15s and AK-47s – and large capacity magazines, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the ban to remain in place as the case plays out over its constitutionality in a lower court. 

The decision handed down by the SCOTUS this week came after an injunction against the ban was requested by an Illinois gun shop owner. Previously, a judge in Illinois’ Southern District had granted the requested injunction against the ban in early May. However, an Appellate judge then reversed that ruling, a decision that was then subsequently backed by both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and the Supreme Court. 

The SCOTUS did not provide any explanation for their ruling, and there were no dissents noted among their body. Currently, the case is being considered by the 7th Circuit, has yet to make a ruling on it; whatever the outcome, it is most likely to be appealed by one side or the other to the Supreme Court. 

Illinois passed the Protect Illinois Communities Act on January 10, 2023, which disallows the sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, and importation of assault weapons and extended magazines within the state, with exceptions made in the cases of law enforcement, members of the military, and professionals with firearm training.  

The ban does not require current owners of such weapons and magazines to part with them, but does mandate that they register their firearms with state police. 

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