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IL Supreme Court Upholds AR-15 Ban, Federal Challenges Pending

The Illinois Supreme Court upheld the state’s ban on the sale or possession of the type of semiautomatic weapons used in hundreds of mass killings. In a 4-3 decision Friday, the court found that the Protect Our Communities Act does not violate the federal Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law nor the state constitution’s bar on special legislation, reports the Associated Press. The court decreed that state Rep. Dan Caulkins and like-minded gun-owners who brought the lawsuit had earlier waived their claims that the law infringes on the Second Amendment to own firearms and could not raise it before the Supreme Court. The Second Amendment claim is alive in several federal lawsuits filed in southern Illinois, later consolidated and awaiting appeals court action. The law bans dozens of specific brands or types of rifles and handguns, .50-caliber guns, attachments and rapid-firing devices. No rifle may accommodate more than 10 rounds, with a 15-round limit for handguns. The most popular gun targeted is the AR-15 rifle, which can be found in at least U.S. American household. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Protect Our Communities Act after lawmakers sent it to him in a lame-duck session in January, fter a shooter using a high-powered rifle killed seven and injured dozens on July 4, 2022, in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. The new law set off criticism from gun-rights advocates, including county sheriffs who were nearly unanimous in signing a statement that they would not zealously enforce the law. Bolstered by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Americans have a right to carry weapons in public for self-defense, Caulkins and other gun owners say the semiautomatic ban clearly violates the right to possess guns.


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