The Deerfield, Ill., City Council recently moved forward with gun control measures that almost immediately drew legal challenges.
The town early this month enacted an ordinance that bans nearly all semi-automatic rifles, and even some handguns and shotguns. Soon after, Guns Save Life filed a lawsuit challenging the town’s attempt to criminalize so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines.”
In what is being termed a confiscatory move, the Deerfield City Council said residents have until June 13 to turn in all guns that fall under the parameters of the new law. Failing to turn in the affected firearms could results in a fine of $250 to $1,000 per day.
“We are going to fight this ordinance, which clearly violates our member's constitutional rights, and with the help of the NRA I believe we can secure a victory for law-abiding gun owners in and around Deerfield,” John Boch, president of Guns Save Life, was quoted as saying.
The Second Amendment Foundation, the Illinois State Rifle Association and resident Daniel Easterday have since filed similar lawsuits. That suit challenges the gun ban on the grounds that it violates the 2013 Illinois state preemption law, which makes it illegal for a municipality to create its own gun laws, especially with respect to restrictions on so-called “assault weapons.”
The preemption law reads in part: “The regulation of the possession or ownership of assault weapons are exclusive powers and functions of this State. Any ordinance or regulation, or portion of that ordinance or regulation, that purports to regulate the possession or ownership of assault weapons in a manner that is inconsistent with this Act, shall be invalid.”
“While the village is trying to disguise this as an amendment to an existing ordinance, it is, in fact, a new law that entirely bans possession of legally owned semi-auto[matic] firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, said in media reports.
The Deerfield council tried to justify its decision, citing recent cases of “assault weapons” being misused by criminals.
Good luck getting the criminals to abide by your new law, provided it survives the legal test, Deerfield.