Five years after Illinois approved legislation limiting the home rule powers of local governments to ban scary-looking long guns, the Village of Deerfield enacted just such a gun ban. Using rather dubious arguments for the need for such a ban, they did so not by creating a new law, but by amending an existing ordinance dealing with gun storage.
Deerfield then virtue signaled for the mainstream media boasting that they’d succeeded in banning America’s favorite rifle, the AR-15. The village’s less intellectually gifted leaders gleefully claimed they had also banned magazines over ten rounds. When sharper minds pointed out the lack of language in the amended ordinance banning magazines, Deerfield’s brain trust re-amended their now-amended original ordinance to ban those as well.
Fair disclosure: I serve as the Guns Save Life‘s executive director and before this amended ordinance could take effect, GSL sued to block its implementation with the backing of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.
The Illinois State Rifle Association filed suit as well with the Second Amendment Foundation‘s support. The Clinton family’s favorite law firm, the longtime Democrat-tied Perkins Coie, represented the Village of Deerfield pro bono along with an assist from the Brady bunch.
The trial court, after hearing the evidence, granted an injunction blocking the ban’s implementation.
Perkins Coie then filed an appeal (which was chock full of amateur hour mistakes) to the injunction. How bad was it? The Village of Deerfield got exactly what they paid for. We’ll let The Deerfield Patch’s headline tell the tale…
Court Rejects Deerfield’s Assault Weapon Ban Appeal
The village’s appeal was too early, too late and initially in the wrong court, but it will get another chance to try to enforce its gun ban.
But now, after the dust has settled, the Illinois Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled on the Village’s (second) bite at the appeal apple. The Appellate court ruled that the Village’s “gut and replace” amendment doesn’t fly in the face of black letter law. But at the same time, the Village’s attempt to ban magazines was flawed.
From The Chicago Tribune:
A state appellate court has upheld the village of Deerfield’s power to ban assault weapons, reversing part of a lower court ruling that had thrown out an amended village ordinance.
With the reversal, which was rendered Friday, the order goes into effect in the village immediately, as the permanent injunction meant to prevent the village from enforcing the ordinance has been removed, officials said…
John Boch, the executive director of Guns Save Life, an organization involved in one of two original lawsuits, said it was outside of Deerfield’s jurisdiction to amend the ordinance in those ways.
“They didn’t ban those weapons in that 10-day window,” he told Pioneer Press. “But a few years later, they came back and completely rewrote a local ordinance … to turn it into a gun ban.”…
Boch said he sees a lane for an appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, and said he is cautiously optimistic it will be appealed.
“Of course we are unhappy with this,” Boch said. “And I think everybody is unhappy one way or another with this decision, so I think it’s highly likely this will be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court. And whether or not they accept it is anybody’s guess at this point.”
This isn’t over by any means. It does appear, however, that AR pistols and all other semi-auto pistols (like the CZ Scorpion) will remain legal in Deerfield, along with magazines of any capacity.
Don’t touch that dial.