U.S. Supreme Court Turns Down Emergency Appeal To Block Illinois Gun Control Law
Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down the National Association for Gun Rights and a firearms retailer’s Second Amendment emergency appeal on Wednesday to block Illinois’ new gun control law.

“The application for a writ of injunction pending appeal presented to Justice Barrett and by her referred to the Court is denied,” the Court said in an unsigned order with no dissents about the National Assn. for Gun Rights v. City of Naperville case.

Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the “Protect Illinois Communities Act” in January, which immediately banned the manufacture or possession of dozens of rapid-fire rifles and pistols, .50-caliber guns, and some attachments.

Illinois enacted the legislation after the Highland Park July 4 parade mass shooting, in which a gunman killed seven victims and wounded dozens of others. The gunman used a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle he legally purchased in 2020 despite the alleged killer’s documented history of threatening and suicidal actions.

According to the bill, the law requires Illinoisans who already own such firearms to register them with the state no later than January 1, 2024. Gun makers can only sell firearms to suppliers in other states, and owners of the newly-banned guns in the state can still keep the devices on their private properties.

Illinois residents possessing unregistered firearms listed in the new law could face a misdemeanor charge on the first offense and a felony charge for subsequent offenses.

Robert Bevis, the owner of Law Weapons & Supply gun store in Naperville, and the gun rights group challenged Naperville’s ordinance, arguing that it violates the Second Amendment.

“The challenged laws ban arms commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” lawyers for Bevis wrote to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judges last month.


Bevis’ attorneys referenced a 2008 ruling by the Supreme Court on the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller case, which found that a categorical ban on arms held by law-abiding citizens is unconstitutional.

“One would suppose that the district court would apply the Heller test or, failing that, at least explain why it believed the test is not applicable,” the attorneys wrote. “The district court did neither. It erred when it simply ignored Heller’s central holding. Nowhere in its opinion does it apply, or even acknowledge, Heller’s holding in this regard.”

The National Association of Gun Rights echoed similar points in its application, citing the Supreme Court decision to strike down New York state’s concealed carry law in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen case.

“This is an exceedingly simple case,” the group wrote. “The Second Amendment protects arms that are commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, especially self-defense in the home. In the teeth of this Court’s precedents, the district court refused to address the evidence that the arms banned by the challenged laws are held by millions of law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.”

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago will reportedly hear arguments on the case in June. For now, Illinois law will remain in place following the Supreme Court’s order.

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