Gun group sues Highland Park over assault weapon ban

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

The city of Highland Park, Illinois was the epicenter of a horrific mass shooting during an Independence Day parade. While no mass shooting should ever happen, Highland Park is a special case.

After all, gun control advocates claim assault weapon bans prevent such shootings. The city had such a ban in place, too.

However, not only did the ban fail to prevent the shooting, but it also failed to prevent the alleged shooter from getting such an evil weapon in the first place.

And this was prior to the Bruen decision, which through just about every gun control law in the country up for grabs. Now, at least one group is taking aim at Highland Park’s failed law.

A gun rights group is challenging the city of Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines like the ones used in a mass shooting there on July 4.

The National Association for Gun Rights, based in Loveland, Colorado, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal district court in Chicago at the same time it filed lawsuits challenging a similar ordinance in Naperville as well as state laws in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Hawaii.

The cases were filed in district courts that are part of five different federal appellate circuits. Illinois is part of the 7th Circuit. In a statement Thursday, the group said it is pushing for a national precedent to end all similar bans across the country.

“Our mission has always been to expand pro-gun precedents and defend gun owners,” Hannah Hill, research and policy director for the National Foundation for Gun Rights, the association’s legal defense fund, said in the statement. “The brilliant decision from (U.S. Supreme Court) Justice (Clarence) Thomas this summer has provided us with the ammo to free millions of law-abiding Americans who are being unjustly denied their gun rights.”

In the lawsuits, the gun rights group rejects the use of the term “assault weapon,” calling it a “charged political term meant to stir the emotions of the public” and instead uses the term “banned firearm.”

I mean, they’re not wrong. While it’s a common term, it’s also one designed to convey a certain idea about these weapons, none of which is accurate.

And the truth of the matter is that Bruen also gave pro-Second Amendment groups a lot of ammo in overturning laws such as Highland Park’s. After all, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a law from around the time of the nation’s founding that banned an entire category of weapons from private ownership.

There are other challenges to assault weapon bans, however, already ongoing, so there’s a possibility this one may be rendered obsolete in the not-too-distant future. However, that would still represent a win for gun rights and the Second Amendment.

It would also mean Highland Park’s law–a law that absolutely did nothing to stop a deadly mass shooting, it should be remembered–would be impacted just the same and the law-abiding folks there could own such rifles if they desired.

That should be the goal in all of this, and luckily, it is. Let’s just hope it happens sooner rather than later.