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Illinois city bans assault weapons, imposes fines up to $1,000 per day

A sign, calling for a ban on assault weapons, is held at a vigil in June 2016 in Los Angeles. The Village of Deerfield, Illinois, passed an ordinance Monday night that bans assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. (2016 file photo/David McNew/Getty Images)

The Village of Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago, enacted a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines Monday night that carries stiff penalties for those found in violation.

The Deerfield Board of Trustees unanimously approved the ban during Monday night’s meeting, although some community members spoke out against it. It will go into effect June 13.

What about the ban?

The new ordinance says that because assault weapons have been used in numerous mass shootings, present unique dangers to law enforcement, and are not “reasonably necessary to protect an individual’s right to self-defense or the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia,” those weapons will be banned from the village.

People who violate the ban are subject to fines of between $250 and $1,000 per day.

The trustees decided that prohibiting the possession, manufacture and sale of assault weapons will “increase the public’s sense of safety at the public schools, public venues, places of worship and places of public accommodation located in the Village of Deerfield.”

The ordinance defines the term assault weapon to include semiautomatic rifles, semiautomatic pistols, semiautomatic shotguns, or shotguns with a revolving cylinder. It also includes conversion kits and goes on to name specific rifles such as the Uzi, AK-47 and AR-15, among others.

How did the community respond?

According to Steve Sadin of the Pioneer Press, there was no debate by the trustees during Monday’s meeting, but 20 people spoke during public remarks: 14 in opposition to the ban, and six in support.

Larry Nordal of Deerfield said the ban was just going to be used as a building block for future infringements on the Second Amendment.

“First, it’s going to be assault rifles,” Nordal said. “There will be new bans in the future. It’s just a matter of time.”

Ariella Kharasch, a local high school student, characterized the ban as a part of the larger gun control movement spearheaded by some survivors of the Parkland, Florida, shooting.

“This is our fight,” Kharasch said. “This is our generation’s fight. We’re going to keep fighting and this is part of it.”


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