The United States Supreme Court has upheld an Illinois statute prohibiting high-powered semiautomatic weapons, maintaining the law’s validity in a recent ruling. The court, without any noted dissents or detailed explanation, rejected a preliminary injunction request from the National Association for Gun Rights.
The legislation, enacted by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, in January, imposes penalties on individuals involved with “carrying, possessing, manufacturing, selling, delivering, importing, or purchasing any assault weapon or .50 caliber rifle.” It also penalizes those dealing with assault weapon attachments or .50 caliber cartridges. Additionally, the law targets kits and tools designed to increase the firing rate of semiautomatic weapons and sets a purchase limit for certain magazines.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the law will remain effective while undergoing further litigation in lower courts.
The National Association for Gun Rights expressed disappointment with the ruling but remained determined to challenge the law. “A right delayed is a right denied,” stated Dudley Brown, the association’s President. He emphasized the organization’s intent to return to the Supreme Court, referencing previous landmark rulings in Heller and Bruen.
Previously, the 7th District U.S. Court of Appeals panel in November and the Illinois Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision in August had also declined requests to block the law.
The law provides a provision for individuals who already own weapons that would be banned under the new regulations. These owners can retain their firearms if they are registered with the state before January 1, 2024. This aspect of the law is seen as a compromise to address concerns of existing gun owners while implementing stricter controls on specific types of firearms.