Judge Blocks Gun Ban in Chicago Suburb

March 23, 2019 Updated: March 23, 2019

A Lake County, IL Circuit Court judge blocked the village of Deerfield from enforcing its ban on assault weapons, striking a legal blow to gun control efforts at the local level.

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.

(RELATED: Kamala Harris Calls For Gun Ban)

In April 2018, Deerfield trustees voted to ban the possession of specific semi-automatic guns like the AR-15 and AK-47, as well as magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The ban came in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and violations of the ban carried a fine between $250 and $1,000 per day, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Gun rights groups immediately filed a legal challenge to the ban, citing 2013 Illinois state legislature action that gave a 10-day window to local municipalities to ban assault weapons, prior the new concealed carry law, which Deerfield did not take advantage of at the time.

“We are very gratified with the judge’s ruling and we are glad the court recognized the ordinances were unenforceable,” David Sigale, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs told Tribune.

As with most cases related to the Second Amendment, it appears another legal round is already brewing. Deerfield officials told The Tribune they are studying the ruling and figuring out their next steps with their legal team which includes an appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court.

“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.

The challenge was originally filed in 2018 by the Illinois State Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, and Daniel Easterday.

“This unprecedented interpretation of state legislative action and intent make this case ripe for appeal,” village officials said in a statement.

“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.

(RELATED: Boulder Residents File Lawsuit Against City Over ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban)

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.

By Kerry Picket

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