Supreme Court won’t block Illinois semiautomatic weapons ban

December 15, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday left in place Illinois’ state ban on AR-15 style semiautomatic weapons, declining a gun advocacy group and gun seller’s emergency bid. 

In August the Illinois state Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, upheld the state’s assault-style weapons ban. Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed the ban into law in January. 

The Illinois law was crafted in response to a massacre at a July 4th, 2022 parade in Highland Park, where the 19-year-old gunman killed seven people and wounded dozens of others.

Gun groups have asserted that the weapons ban amounts to a prohibition of arms that “are chosen by millions of Americans for lawful purposes.”

The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the gun groups’ emergency bid was not a decision regarding the merits of their case. There have been no conflicting decisions by lower appeals courts, and without such a conflict it may be that the Justices felt no need to intervene. 

Illinois is one of ten states that have banned assault weapons, along with California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Washington.

According to the Giffords Law Center, Illinois is also one of nine states along with Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Washington as well as the the District of Columbia, which impose a minimum age requirement of 21 to purchase firearms.

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