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Illinois judge permanently blocks assault weapons ban in Chicago suburb

The same judge had issued an earlier restraining order to prevent the ban from going into effect

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

On Friday, Lake County Circuit Court Judge Luis Berrones ruled that Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, could not ban assault weapons.

What's the story here?

In April 2018, Deerfield's board of trustees unanimously voted to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Firearms covered by the ban include the AR-15, the AK-47, and Uzi. Violators could be hit with fines ranging from $250 to $1,000 per day. The ban was pushed in response to the 17 people killed in a February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The new rules were intended to "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."

Deerfield resident John WIlliam Wombacher III and the group, Guns Save Life, quickly filed a lawsuit challenging the ban, which garnered the support of the National Rifle Association. Another lawsuit was filed by the Illinois State Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, and a local gun owner named Daniel Easterday.

Richard Pearson, a representative from the Illinois State Rifle Association, told WBBM-TV in June that the having gun legislation passed on a local level instead of a state level would create a confusing "patchwork" of laws that would be unfair to citizens.

"I could be here and be perfectly legal and walk across the street and be a criminal," he argued.

The day before the ban would have gone into effect on June 13, Berrones issued a restraining order preventing it from going into effect.

The ruling by Berrones on Friday blocks the ban permanently.

What else?

Berrones argued that the Deerfield residents who sued the city had "a clearly ascertainable right to not be subjected to a preempted and unenforceable ordinance." He also ruled that the ban was an unconstitutional seizure of property.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the city government of Deerfield is considering appealing this decision in the Illinois Appellate Court.

One last thing…
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