FPC Files En Banc Petition in IL Assault Weapon Ban Case

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As many media outlets lament the “demise” of the NRA, some are recognizing that other groups are stepping in to fill the supposed void.

One of those groups is the Firearms Policy Coalition. In addition to gloriously snarky comments on X, formerly Twitter, the FPC is also one of those groups you will see challenge pretty much any gun control law in the courts.


That’s a good thing, too, because there’s really no chance to overturn some of this nonsense in the legislature.

A prime example is Illinois and their magazine and assault weapon ban. The state won an early round, but the FPC isn’t done fighting.

Today[On Monday], Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of an en banc petition with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in its lawsuit challenging the Illinois “assault weapon” and magazine bans. The petition comes after a 3-judge panel reversed the preliminary injunction FPC secured at the district court. The petition in Harrel v. Raoul case, along with other case documents, can be viewed at FPCLaw.org.

Bruen makes crystal clear why [Illinois’] ban is unconstitutional, as firearms and their feeding devices are plainly ‘arms’ no matter what features they possess, and the arms Illinois has banned are among the most common arms in possession today,” argues the petition. “Yet rather than meaningfully engage with the textual and historical analysis Bruen laid out, the panel majority embraced the remarkable proposition that Illinois’ ban does not even implicate the Second Amendment, on the theory that none of the newly outlawed rifles, pistols, shotguns, and feeding devices are ‘arms’ at all.”

“This case is a prime candidate for review of the entirety of the Seventh Circuit given its clear departure from the Supreme Court’s unqualified command and its misunderstanding of basic firearm operation,” said Cody J. Wisniewski, FPC Action Foundation’s General Counsel and Vice President of Legal, and counsel for FPC. “The arms at issue, both the firearms and magazines, are constitutionally protected and cannot be banned. The people of Illinois have a right to possess them, just as do all peaceable people around the country.”


The FPC acknowledges they’re not in this alone. The Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation are joining in the action.

And, honestly, there’s nothing at all in this that I can even quibble on. The Seventh Circuit’s ruling on this was bizarre and inane, the kind of “reasoning” only a lawyer could concoct and then only if they’re trying to justify the conclusion they wanted in the first place, the law be damned.

Taking their challenge to the point of an en banc petition is simply the next step in the challenge. That means that unless a different assault weapon ban case makes it to the Supreme Court, this one probably will and put the kibosh on such foolishness now and forever.

After all, based on how Bruen reads, it’s unlikely that the Court will take too kindly to assault weapon bans and magazine bans.

And really, why would they?

Based on what the Founders wrote around the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification, it’s clear that they weren’t seeing the right to keep and bear arms as a collective right only meant for the states. It was an individual right that they believed was inherent in being a free man.

They weren’t perfect by any means, but the truth is that they also figured there would come a time when we needed to take up arms to overthrow the tyrannical rule of our nation. That’s a lot harder without modern sporting rifles and higher capacity magazines.


Further, there’s no historical precedent for such a law. Contrary to what the president keeps saying, people could own cannons–in fact, they can still own those exact same cannons, which can do a lot more damage than an AR-15 can–so the idea that a weapon is too destructive for private hands isn’t going to be supported historically either.

So my hope is that FPC can get this one won, preferably in a way that puts an end to these kinds of bans for good.

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