Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Illinois Assault Weapons Ban
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined for now to block a new law in Illinois that bans assault-style weapons such as the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, which has been used in multiple mass shootings.
The decision in a brief unsigned order means the Illinois law enacted in the wake of a July 4 shooting in the city of Highland Park last year that killed seven will remain in effect while legal challenges continue. In a separate case, a federal judge blocked the law, but the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has put that decision on hold.
The Supreme Court in January declined to block new New York gun restrictions. The two decisions taken together indicate the justices are willing to give lower courts time to consider the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer that dramatically expanded gun rights under the Constitution’s Second Amendment.
Federal Judge Blocks More of New Jersey’s New Gun Law
U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb (GW Bush) issued preliminary injunctions that lift the state’s ban on firearms at zoos, film sets, public gatherings, medical offices, and airports’ pickup/dropoff areas. The new order also prohibits the state from requiring gun owners to get liability insurance, a provision that was set to take effect July 1. Bumb also blocked a provision that would have required in-person interviews of character references for gun applicants.
Attorney General Matthew Platkin called the ruling “devastating for public safety.” Hours after Bumb issued the ruling, Platkin’s office filed an appeal with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Over and over, the evidence has shown that keeping firearms out of sensitive places will keep our residents safe, and our elected officials passed sensible laws to do exactly that,” Platkin said in a statement. “But the court now insists that we are powerless to protect New Jersey residents and proclaims that the Second Amendment requires allowing guns at parks and beaches, in libraries, at public gatherings, in zoos, and even in bars, among other sensitive places. This decision is bad constitutional law and bad for New Jersey.”