Judge Issues Injunction Against Deerfield, IL's Assault Weapon Ban

The tiny flea-speck of Deerfield, Ill. thought they could restrict what kind of guns people in their community could own. Being in Illinois, I can understand why they’d think that. It’s unlikely the state would do anything to defend the civil liberties of the town’s gun owners, after all.

However, it also immediately fired up the pro-gun rights crowd. A lawsuit was filed.

It now seems the first victory along that path has been won.

[The Second Amendment Foundation] along with the Illinois State Rifle Association sued the Chicago suburb on behalf of Deerfield resident Danieal Easterday on the grounds that it violated that preemption statute.  On Tuesday, Judge Luis Berrones Lake County circuit court judge agreed, granting the injunction thus preventing the village from rolling out its “assault weapons” ban.

“We moved swiftly to challenge this gun ban because it flew in the face of state law,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica. “The village tried to disguise its extremism as an amendment to an existing ordinance. The ordinance bans possession of legally-owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense.

“Worse, still,” he added, “the ordinance also provided for confiscation and destruction of such firearms and their original capacity magazines. It was outrageous that the ban would levy fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refused to turn in their gun and magazines or move them out of the village. This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that ‘nobody is coming to take your guns.’”

Following the Judge’s ruling, Deerfield issued a statement saying that it will consider an appeal.

“We are reviewing with our legal team the full written opinion that the judge entered. We will, of course, honor the order issued by the court and temporarily not enforce the ordinance,” Deerfield said. “But we are certainly going to review all of the options available to the village, including the right to appeal the decision to the Illinois appellate court.”

In other words, this is just one win in what is likely to be a long, long battle.

Still, the injunction provides some much-needed breathing room for those in the community who own modern sporting rifles and have no wish to get rid of them as the law requires.

It is also that requirement which may, ultimately, lead to the law being overturned. After all, no one is supposed to be deprived of property without due process, and a case could well be made that banning an item that would be legal one inch outside of town to such a degree that law-abiding citizens would be forced to get rid of their property is “depriving” people of property.

But I’m not a lawyer.

The judge, however, is. He apparently saw sufficient ground to at least issue an injunction, which means this case isn’t the clear slam-dunk Deerfield officials thought it would be.

Ultimately, that’s great news. It’s also important that legal challenges become part and parcel of passing gun control legislation. Communities need to understand that we’re not about to give up our rights easily and factor that cost into the discussion of curtailing the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Win or lose, it needs to be costly. Deerfield is learning that lesson.

Jun 20, 2021 11:30 AM ET