Blog 11/10/23

Weekly Spotlight 11/10/23 – 11/16/23

Illinois “Assault Weapons” Ban Upheld, Could Be Headed for Supreme Court

Last weekend, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a new Illinois law that bans so-called “assault weapons.”  In a 2-1 decision, the judges refused to block the enforcement of the statewide law, and two similar laws passed at the local level in Cook County, Chicago, and Naperville.

In the decision, the majority wrote, “The State of Illinois, in the legislation that lies at the heart of these cases, has decided to regulate assault weapons and high-capacity magazines — a decision that is valid only if the regulated weapons lie on the military side of that line and thus are not within the class of arms protected by the Second Amendment.”  They continued saying, “The plaintiffs in these cases challenge that conclusion. Using the tools of history and tradition to which the Supreme Court directed us … we conclude that the state and the affected subdivisions have a strong likelihood of success in the pending litigation.” 

As you might recall, last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in NYSRPA v. Bruen, which held that states seeking to implement gun control laws must demonstrate that they are “consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation” to be lawful.  Bruen therefore created an important constitutional test, and the Seventh Circuit judges seem to think the new Illinois law passes that test.  However, the plaintiffs disagree and will likely appeal the decision, which means “assault weapons” bans could eventually be considered by the highest court in the land. 

Setting aside the constitutionality of bans on so-called “assault weapons,” there’s no evidence to show that they are sound policy.  Not only are they some of the most commonly owned guns in the country, but they’re used in a minuscule share of America’s firearm-related deaths each year.  According to a Pew Research Center analysis from 2020, “rifles – the category that includes guns sometimes referred to as ‘assault weapons’ – were involved in just 3% of firearm murders.”  There’s also a weak case for the 1994 assault weapons ban passed by Congress that sunset after 10 years, which studies show had little to no effect in reducing crime or gun-related deaths.

Sweeping bans on entire classifications of firearms should not be the way forward to keep our communities safe.  They fly in the face of Second Amendment protections, and they only serve to punish law-abiding Americans who want to keep their families safe.  That’s why we’re working to educate and empower responsible gun owners to become citizen lobbyists who are equipped with the information and platform they need to push back against bad policies like “assault weapons” bans.

Click here to stop a FEDERAL ban on so-called “assault weapons”


The justices will reach for their historian hats again Tuesday as the Supreme Court confronts the latest test of gun rights in modern America: whether people accused of domestic violence have a right to carry firearms. A 29-year-old federal law says no. It bars people under domestic violence protective orders from possessing guns. But when the court hears arguments on the constitutionality of that law, the justices likely will focus on whether the law meets a “text, history, and tradition” test the court laid out just last year for gun-rights cases.

It’s been a busy week at The Outdoor Sportsman in Northport. In addition to the usual steady stream of deer-season customers looking for guns, ammo and safety orange attire, there were buyers who cited a different motivation. “Self-defense,” manager Michelle Kosmo said. “It was a really scary thing that happened, and it’s unnerving not to be able to protect yourself, in the event that you needed to.” Kosmo is not alone. Gun dealers across Maine are reporting a surge in sales of guns and ammo to customers concerned about self-defense after the Lewiston mass shooting. Kosmo is seeing a variety of customers, including many who are looking for handguns.

A U.S. appeals court on Friday upheld an Illinois state ban on assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines enacted after a 2022 mass shooting in Chicago’s Highland Park suburb that left seven people dead and dozens more wounded. In a 2-1 vote, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a lower-court injunction imposed against the firearms restrictions in one set of cases and affirmed decisions keeping the law intact in another batch.

The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office held the final satellite license to carry concealed permit event of the year on Saturday. This time, the event was in Springdale Township at the Allegheny Valley VFD. The sheriff’s office said it processed 569 permits throughout the day. The sheriff’s office holds these walk-in events to help people who can’t easily get to the courthouse during regular business hours renew their permits. To renew a permit at a satellite event, all that’s needed is $20 and a valid ID. While there are no other events in 2023, the sheriff’s office says the 2024 schedule will be posted sometime in February.