Big Battle Brewing Over Chicago Suburb’s Ban on Assault Weapons

NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, others are already fighting new ordinance against most popular rifle in America

In response to the recent mass shootings in this country, government officials in a Chicago suburb earlier this week criminalized the possession, sale, and manufacture of “assault weapons” and “large-capacity” magazines, as Reuters and other media outlets reported — and the ban includes the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15, and the most common capacity magazines for it.

After June 13 of this year, residents in violation of the new ordinance passed by the Village Board of Trustees in Deerfield, Illinois, can be fined up to $1,000 for each day they fail to comply, as the Chicago Tribune reported.

In addition to those fines, the ordinance also gives law enforcement “the power to confiscate and destroy the weapons and magazines. The town, however, says police officers will not make ‘door-to-door’ checks to ensure people are complying” — but gun rights advocates are already suing the village of Deerfield, as The Washington Times noted.

On Thursday night’s “The Ingraham Angle,” Fox News guest host Katie Pavlich and Democratic strategist Joel Payne debated the controversial developments and the potential fallout.

“Conservatives don’t believe in taking out certain pieces of the Bill of Rights depending on what place you live in,” said Pavlich.

“Conservatives usually like this, by the way — that states and localities are taking power back from the national government,” countered Payne.

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“We have restrictions on all of our amendments, not to prevent us from being able to enjoy them fully but to be able to enjoy them responsibly,” he added.

The enforcement of Deerfield’s ordinance could well lead to the violation of other constitutionally guaranteed rights, Pavlich suggested, such as freedom from unwarranted search and seizure, if police were to go door-to-door to engage in warrantless confiscation.

“This is exactly why gun owners don’t want a national registry,” said Pavlich. “Liberals want to know exactly where the guns are so they can confiscate them.”

The ordinance’s definition of an assault weapon includes, among others, “semi-automatic rifles that have a fixed magazine with a capacity to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition; shotguns with a revolving cylinder; and semi-automatic pistols and rifles that can accept large-capacity magazines and possess one of a list of other features. Among the dozens of specific models cited are the AR-15, AK-47 and Uzi,” the Tribune reported.

“Liberals want to know exactly where the guns are so they can confiscate them.”

NRATV’s Chip Eberhart reported that the NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) and the Illinois State Rifle Association are challenging the law, which was an amendment to a 2013 ordinance related to gun storage. The Supreme Court declined to hear a case addressing a similar law in neighboring Highland Park, which allowed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit’s decision permitting the Highland Park ordinance to stand.

Eberhart said the law “clearly targets gun owners, not criminals.” He added, “It’s a feel-good law that will accomplish nothing to enhance public safety. They should be ashamed.”


Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.

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