The idea behind preemption laws is simple. By keeping local communities from creating their own laws, you block an insane patchwork of laws that make it difficult to navigate. This is especially true of someone moving into a new community, completely ignorant of regulations only to find themselves suddenly a criminal in that ignorance.
Owners of assault weapons living in north suburban Deerfield have until June 13 to remove the firearms from within village limits or face daily fines after a ban was approved Monday night.
The Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved a ban on certain types of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, amending a 2013 ordinance that regulated the storage of those items.
The new ordinance prohibits the possession, sale and manufacturing of certain types of assault weapons and large capacity magazines within the village, according to the ordinance. One change from the law as it was originally discussed exempts retired police officers from the ban, according to Village Manager Kent Street.
Violations carry a fine of between $250 and $1,000 per day, according to Matthew Rose, the village attorney. He said the fine is levied each day until there is compliance.
Street said the new law is modeled after one approved by Highland Park in 2013. That ban survived a legal challenge by one of the city’s residents and the Illinois State Rifle Association. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that legislation constitutional and the U.S. Supreme Court let the decision stand when it declined to take up the appeal.
In the ordinance, the definition of an assault weapon includes, among others, semiautomatic rifles that have a fixed magazine with a capacity to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition; shotguns with a revolving cylinder; and semiautomatic 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, according to the ordinance.
The rationale mentions four recent shooting incidents that have claimed a total of 150 lives: The shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead; a massacre at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas that killed 26 people; the Las Vegas music festival shooting that left 58 dead and the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. that killed 49 people.
Let’s be honest here. This is political theater. No one with half a mind thinks laws like this in small communities will stop a damn soul.
What it does do is potentially stifle town growth. I know my happy butt wouldn’t move there, especially when you could live just outside of town and get all the benefits of living there without dealing with the insane laws that will accomplish nothing except get in the way of law-abiding citizens.
It’s community virtue signaling. It’s Deerfield screaming up and down, “See! See! We’re a good community! We do the good things!”
But what will it accomplish? It’ll trip up some otherwise innocent soul who moves to town with an otherwise legal firearm, only to find out after the fact that it’s illegal. Since ignorance of the law is no defense, they’ll get hammered over it.
And that’s why preemption laws exist, to stop this kind of nonsense from happening.
The kicker here is that this is Illinois, a state where getting laws like this passed at the state level isn’t exactly challenging. That’s why it’s easy to say it’s nothing but virtue signaling.
It’s just virtue signaling that could hurt real people.