Four months after a temporary restraining order was issued to block Deerfield, Ill., from banning what council members termed “assault weapons,” the sides were back in court making their arguments for a more lasting decision.
Guns Save Life, the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) and other plaintiffs were asking for a preliminary injunction against the town, saying it overstepped the state’s preemption law. The Second Amendment groups are challenging Deerfield’s action in two lawsuits. Gun owner John William Wombacher III and Guns Save Life teamed up to file one, and that one has the NRA’s backing. A second challenge was filed by the ISRA, the Second Amendment Foundation and gun owner Daniel Easterday.
The preemption law made regulation of “assault weapons” the exclusive power of the state, but allowed local regulations that were already in effect to stand. The state statute also gave localities 10 days to enact their own regulations. Any ordinances passed within that time frame could be amended, later. The ban is in murky waters because the town argues that it serves as an amendment to a 2013 local ordinance regarding the safe storage and transportation of “assault weapons.” The plaintiffs contend the ban qualifies as new legislation.
Lake County Circuit Court Judge Luis Berrones sided with the pro-gun advocates in June, saying that the ordinance is “substantively different” than the scope of the 2013 storage and transportation law, therefore calling it an amendment is wrong.
Deerfield’s latest extension of gun control—passed April 2, not even two months after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.— outlaws semi-automatic rifles that have a fixed magazine with the ability to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition; shotguns with a revolving cylinder; and semi-automatic pistols and rifles that can accept “large-capacity” magazines and possess one of a list of other features.