Earlier this year, a number of Illinois municipalities passed “assault weapon” bans.
One of these towns was Highland Park, on Chicago’s far North Shore. From a July 2 press release:
The Highland Park City Council passed an ordinance banning assault weapons within City-limits at the June 24 City Council Meeting, after hearing from many residents, interest groups and individuals offering perspective on all sides of the issue, in writing and in person. The ban, modeled after Cook County’s assault weapons ordinance, would amend Chapter 134 of the City Code. The ordinance was effective July 8, 2013. Residents have 90 days to comply with the provisions set within the ordinance…
Having worked closely with a number of Highland Park city hall staff some years back as the assistant to the mayor of a neighboring town, I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder if those guys are going to miss all that money that could be pissed away in the coming lawsuit.”
Fast forward to the other day, when the Associated Press reported the City of Highland Park is being sued for its new “assault weapons” ban. From the website of Chicago ABC affiliate Channel 7 on December 20:
A gun rights group has filed its first lawsuit against one of the Illinois communities that rushed to pass an assault weapons ban before a state law allowed people to carry concealed weapons in public, and the group strongly hinted Friday that the lawsuit will not be its last.
“I am not at liberty to talk about (other possible lawsuits), but let’s just say we’re always working,” said Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, which joined the lawsuit filed by a Highland Park pediatrician against the well-to-do community north of Chicago. “We are going after them wherever they are.”
In the lawsuit, the rifle association and Dr. Arie Friedman, a pediatrician and owner of semi-automatic weapons, contend that that Highland Park, where Friedman lives, did not have a legal right to ban the weapons that he says he keeps for the lawful purposes of target shooting and self-defense.
Further, the lawsuit suggests that by lumping in the kinds of semi-automatic weapons Friedman owns with fully automatic assault weapons, the ban infringes on the rights of people to possess one of the most commonly owned “sporting rifles” in the United States.
“Ownership of firearms that are commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes … is a fundamental right under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution,” according to the lawsuit…
Legal representatives for the City claim the ban passes constitutional muster.
Obviously, that’s not up to them to decide anymore.
In the meantime, I’m guessing legal fees for time and work spent on the issue will add up while other Illinois towns that enacted regulations/bans on these so-called “assault weapons” nervously monitor how the lawsuit plays out for the Lake County community.
By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)
“Illinois city sued over assault weapons ban.” Associated Press. 20 Dec. 2013. (http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/illinois&id=9368350). 23 Dec. 2013.
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