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SCOTUS Issues Directive in the IL Assault Weapons Ban Case

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An AR15 with a scope mounted on it

On November 29, the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) entered an emergency request for an injunction staying (or stopping) the Illinois law that bans lawfully possessed “assault weapons”, eliciting an interesting response from Supreme Court Justice Barrett.

Justice Barrett, who oversees the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals where the Illinois assault weapon ban case is being heard, directed the State respond to the pending motion by NAGR.

This isn’t the first time the Supreme Court has checked in on this case. As we reported earlier this year, SCOTUS has been carefully watching this case in the 7th Circuit, even though it denied an earlier emergency application.

National Association for Gun Rights, et al., Applicants v. City of Naperville, Illinois, et al. is a high-profile case that is being watched by numerous gun rights groups as it makes its way through a circuit that is notoriously anti-gun, and ultimately anti-Constitutional. NAGR’s brief states simply, “Indeed, the Act bans the most popular rifle in America” with the government asserting that such weapons may be banned because they are “particularly dangerous.” All in direct defiance of Bruen. The outcome of this case is significant as the Federal government also appears to be gearing up to push an “assault weapons” ban.

In April, Judge Stephen McGlynn, in the Southern District of Illinois, granted a preliminary injunction stopping the unconstitutional Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA), and then just days later, Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook, in the 7th Circuit Court of appeals, reversed the preliminary injunction allowing the ban to go back into effect. NAGR appealed and on November 3rd, a divided panel of the 7th Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction.

Mark Smith, Constitutional attorney from the Four Boxes Diner YouTube channel, believes that it’s unlikely the Supreme Court will take up the case given its interlocutory nature, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. SCOTUS likes to hear cases that are ripe, having gone through the entire process including a final ruling. (Incidentally, an article by Smith was cited in support of their position in the NAGR brief.)

“These opportunities to submit papers and to look at papers by the Supreme Court even if they ultimately deny cert… the reality is that the Supreme Court is continuing to learn about the bad behavior, the mistakes being made by the ‘inferior courts’… including mistakes made by Judge Easterbrook there in the 7th Circuit…. They absolutely know what’s going on with Judge Easterbrook.”

The State must submit its response to Justice Barrett by December 6th.

We will continue to cover this story.

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