SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Federal judge refuses to block assault weapons ban enforcement

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois
phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com

SPRINGFIELD – A federal judge in Chicago this week denied a request to block enforcement of both state and local bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, saying it is unlikely that the law will be found unconstitutional.

In a 31-page opinion, Judge Lindsay Jenkins in the Northern District of Illinois said the laws are intended to protect public safety by removing particularly dangerous weapons from circulation. She also said that the government’s interest in protecting public safety outweighs any harm the laws might have on a person’s right to keep and bear arms.

The case involves Javier Herrera, a Chicago resident and emergency room doctor who volunteers as a medic for a Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT team. He is challenging a newly passed state law as well as local laws enacted by the city of Chicago and Cook County.

The Illinois General Assembly passed its assault weapon ban during a special lame duck session in January. It came in response to a mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park that left seven people dead and dozens more injured or traumatized.

The law bans the possession, sale or manufacture of a long list of semiautomatic rifles and handguns that are defined as “assault weapons” as well as large-capacity magazines, defined as 10 or more rounds for a rifle and 15 or more rounds for a handgun. It exempts certain people from the ban such as law enforcement officers and active-duty military personnel.

Under the law, people who already own such weapons can keep them but they must register them with the Illinois State Police by Jan.1, 2024. The law also limits who current owners can sell or transfer the weapon to.

Cook County enacted its own ban on certain semiautomatic rifles and large-capacity magazines in 2006 and the city of Chicago enacted one in 2013.

Herrera filed his lawsuit shortly after Gov. JB Pritzker signed the state ban into law. He owns several weapons that are now banned including two AR-15 rifles, which he says he uses for self-defense, hunting, and sport shooting.

He claims that the laws interfere with his right of self-defense as well as his ability to train with his SWAT team. He also argues that large-capacity magazines come standard with certain weapons and that his inability to purchase those items renders the guns inoperable.

His suit seeks to declare the laws unconstitutional under the Second and 14th Amendments. It also asked for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the laws while the case is pending.

In a ruling released Tuesday, Jenkins denied the motions to block enforcement of the laws, saying that any injuries the laws may be causing Herrera were outweighed by the interest in protecting public safety. She also said an injunction and restraining order were not warranted because Herrera was unlikely to prevail on the merits of his case.

She also noted that Herrera is not a law enforcement officer and that his volunteer work for the SWAT team does not require him to carry a firearm.

Herrera’s attorneys filed a notice Wednesday indicating they will appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Herrera’s case is just one of several challenges to the state’s assault weapons ban that are working their way through state and federal courts. There are two other cases in the Northern District of Illinois challenging the state law and local ordinances – one against Naperville and another against Highland Park.

In February, a different federal judge denied a similar motion for an injunction in the Naperville case. That case is also on appeal to the Seventh Circuit.

Another federal case is pending in the Southern District of Illinois where a judge in East St. Louis heard oral arguments earlier this month. And there is a case pending before the Illinois Supreme Court that seeks to have the state law overturned as a violation of the Illinois state constitution.

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of newspapers, radio and TV stations statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Leave a Comment





Local News

Kathy Headley

The cleanest sidewalk in Chicago Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the love. Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . In a recent column I told you about stopping at the Community Dinner held on Tuesday evenings in the fieldhouse at Marquette Park. That particular night I sat next to an arborist for the Cook…

Peggy Zabicki

Hot dog! This is a special week

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . I would like to start my column with the most important news. National Hot Dog Day is Wednesday, July 17 and is traditionally celebrated all week. I decided to suggest two West Lawn restaurants for celebrating…

GSWNH_HolidayInnRear_070524

Migrants coming to Ford City

Spread the love

Spread the love. Nearly a thousand coming this month to Holiday Inn . By Tim Hadac The Pritzker Administration is converting a vacant hotel in the Midway area to a shelter expected to house as many as 950 migrants. The action is occurring quickly, with migrants expected to move in this month. In a press…

CTAlogo

CTA hiring means more rail service

Spread the love

Spread the love. Orange Line sees 11% jump . From staff reports The Chicago Transit Authority has announced that because of what they described as continued, aggressive recruiting, hiring and training efforts, it has added 8.5% more scheduled rail service in recent weeks for a total of 9% more scheduled service added since April 2024.…

the leadershop logo

LeaderShop Alumni Association to host peaceful rally during Thursday board meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe LeaderShop Alumni Association, a group of volunteers, previous staff members, former board members, funders, donors, and stakeholders who are community minded and energized by the mission of The LeaderShop, will host a peaceful rally in support of change to current leadership for the nonprofit agency. The rally will be held during The…

The Mariano’s store in Frankfort would be among the stores transferred to a new owner if the Kroger-Albertson’s merger is approved. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Palos Jewel, Oak Lawn Mariano’s to be sold in merger deal

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Kroger and Albertson’s this week released the list of stores the companies plan to sell, should a merger between the grocery giants be approved by regulators. Jewel Food Stores in Alsip and Palos Heights are among the stores listed for sale as well as Mariano’s locations in Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and…

The Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. (Photos by Enrique Reyes, Courtesy of the Oak Lawn Public Library)

Oak Lawn Library hosts Local Author Showcase

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Oak Lawn Public Library opened its doors to the summer season and to its local authors. The library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. “Thirty authors, two hours, and…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound July 10, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Palos Heights native Patrick Bertotelli won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest July 4 in New York. (Photo courtesy of Major League Eating)

Palos Heights native is top dog in famous eating contest

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva At one time, it may have seemed impossible for Palos Heights native Patrick Bertoletti to win the Nathan’s Hog Dog Eating contest. After all, Joey Chestnut was roasting opponents year after year by winning 16 titles since 2007 and had a streak of gobbling up championships eight years in a…

Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters is hoping a mobile DMV will return to the village after the July 15 visit was sold out. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

DMV sellout could mean a return visit in Palos Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Palos Park Clerk Marie Arrigoni announced that appointments for the one-day mobile Department of Motor Vehicles visit to Village Hall are sold out. That’s bad news for those residents who were looking forward to taking care of DMV business right there in town. But it was good news to Mayor…

Neighbors

Kathy Headley

The cleanest sidewalk in Chicago Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the love. Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . In a recent column I told you about stopping at the Community Dinner held on Tuesday evenings in the fieldhouse at Marquette Park. That particular night I sat next to an arborist for the Cook…

Peggy Zabicki

Hot dog! This is a special week

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . I would like to start my column with the most important news. National Hot Dog Day is Wednesday, July 17 and is traditionally celebrated all week. I decided to suggest two West Lawn restaurants for celebrating…

GSWNH_HolidayInnRear_070524

Migrants coming to Ford City

Spread the love

Spread the love. Nearly a thousand coming this month to Holiday Inn . By Tim Hadac The Pritzker Administration is converting a vacant hotel in the Midway area to a shelter expected to house as many as 950 migrants. The action is occurring quickly, with migrants expected to move in this month. In a press…

CTAlogo

CTA hiring means more rail service

Spread the love

Spread the love. Orange Line sees 11% jump . From staff reports The Chicago Transit Authority has announced that because of what they described as continued, aggressive recruiting, hiring and training efforts, it has added 8.5% more scheduled rail service in recent weeks for a total of 9% more scheduled service added since April 2024.…

the leadershop logo

LeaderShop Alumni Association to host peaceful rally during Thursday board meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe LeaderShop Alumni Association, a group of volunteers, previous staff members, former board members, funders, donors, and stakeholders who are community minded and energized by the mission of The LeaderShop, will host a peaceful rally in support of change to current leadership for the nonprofit agency. The rally will be held during The…

The Mariano’s store in Frankfort would be among the stores transferred to a new owner if the Kroger-Albertson’s merger is approved. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Palos Jewel, Oak Lawn Mariano’s to be sold in merger deal

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Kroger and Albertson’s this week released the list of stores the companies plan to sell, should a merger between the grocery giants be approved by regulators. Jewel Food Stores in Alsip and Palos Heights are among the stores listed for sale as well as Mariano’s locations in Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and…

The Oak Lawn Public Library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. (Photos by Enrique Reyes, Courtesy of the Oak Lawn Public Library)

Oak Lawn Library hosts Local Author Showcase

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Oak Lawn Public Library opened its doors to the summer season and to its local authors. The library, 9427 S. Raymond Ave., kicked off its adult and teen summer reading season with a Local Author Showcase featuring a book fair and 30 authors June 12. “Thirty authors, two hours, and…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound July 10, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Palos Heights native Patrick Bertotelli won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest July 4 in New York. (Photo courtesy of Major League Eating)

Palos Heights native is top dog in famous eating contest

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva At one time, it may have seemed impossible for Palos Heights native Patrick Bertoletti to win the Nathan’s Hog Dog Eating contest. After all, Joey Chestnut was roasting opponents year after year by winning 16 titles since 2007 and had a streak of gobbling up championships eight years in a…

Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters is hoping a mobile DMV will return to the village after the July 15 visit was sold out. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

DMV sellout could mean a return visit in Palos Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Palos Park Clerk Marie Arrigoni announced that appointments for the one-day mobile Department of Motor Vehicles visit to Village Hall are sold out. That’s bad news for those residents who were looking forward to taking care of DMV business right there in town. But it was good news to Mayor…