On Wednesday (May 17), the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Illinois’ “assault weapons” ban to take effect temporarily.
The ruling allows the Illinois law to stand while lower courts consider its constitutionality. Wednesday’s ruling came after the owner of an Illinois gun shop sought an injunction.
Illinois law prohibits the sale and new possession of semi-automatic “assault weapons.”
Although those who already legally possess such weapons do not have to surrender them, the law prohibits the sale of bulk magazines.
On Wednesday, the court did not provide an explanation for its decision, and no dissenting opinions were noted.
The National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR), a legal group associated with the Illinois gun store owner who sought an injunction, expressed disappointment at Wednesday’s decision but described being committed to fighting the state’s ban.
Hannah Hill, Executive Director of the NFGR, shared a statement highlighting that the Supreme Court’s action “at this point would only have been temporary” and doesn’t reflect on the case’s merits.
Hill added that the Supreme Court was watching the case closely and shared that the NFGR is expecting to be able to appeal quickly on those merits should the 7th Circuit rule against the case — which signs indicate is likely.
The case is currently before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, with the request for an injunction being given to Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Illinois passed the Protect Illinois Communities Act on January 10, banning the manufacture, importation, sale, purchase, and delivery of “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines, except for law enforcement, military personnel, and certain other firearms-trained professionals.
The legislation specifically names the AR-15 and AK-47 rifles and requires legal owners of semi-automatic rifles to register their ownership with the state police.