The Illinois Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case challenging the Cook County ban on “assault weapons.” Word has it that the just released opinion remands
on equal protection and due process grounds. No word whether the Second Amendment is involved yet. Looks like a punt. More to come as it comes. Check this post for updates.
However, as to the second amendment issue, the supreme court took a different view. At this early stage of the litigation, in the procedural posture of this case, it cannot be said conclusively whether “assault weapons” as defined by the ordinance fall within or outside the scope of the rights protected by the second amendment. This question requires an empirical inquiry that goes beyond the scope of both the record in the current litigation and judicial notice. The supreme court said that, at this point in the lawsuit, it cannot be said that no set of facts can be proved that would entitle the plaintiffs to relief. Neither has the County had an opportunity to present evidence to justify a nexus between the ordinance and the governmental interest it seeks to protect. Therefore, the circuit court’s dismissal of the complaint count based on the second amendment was improper and was reversed, as was that part of the appellate court’s judgment which affirmed the dismissal.
Pretty much a punt on the Second Amendment issue. They essentially remand the case back to lower court to undergo a trial. This is a small win, given that the lower court originally approved Cook County’s motion to dismiss.
UPDATE: From the Chicago Tribune. I should note that I am not optimistic about success with assault weapons bans as things stand right now. The judiciary is quite hostile to gun rights just generally. I think the odds of finding judges to strike down bans on scary looking guns is long.
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