7th Circuit Denies Preliminary Injunction in Illinois Assault Weapons Case

At the close of last week, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied our motion for preliminary injunction against the state of Illinois’ and the city of Naperville’s bans on “assault weapons” and “large capacity magazines.” You can read the ruling here.

The majority opinion, authored by Wood and supported by Easterbrook, deemed that the banned firearms and magazines in the so-called “Protect Illinois Communities Act” are not “arms” under the Second Amendment.

This is an utterly ridiculous statement, and as dissenting Judge Brennan states, “[t]he banned firearms propel bullets by explosive force from gunpowder, yet the government parties ask us to conclude that these rifles and pistols are not ‘Arms.’”

Following the request of the government, the majority opinion decided that the firearms in question are not “arms” at all, and with that conclusion ruled that our case and our fellow plaintiffs’ cases are likely to fail on those merits alone.

The majority did this by drawing an imaginary line that puts weapons useful for civilian purposes on one side, and weapons useful for military purposes on the other side. For example, they justified the regulation on handgun magazines by stating since the M18, the standard sidearm in the military has standard magazines of 17 or 21 rounds, that magazines that size can be reserved for military use without infringing on the Second Amendment.

Perhaps most concerning in the majority opinion is the constant citation of the Friedman decision from 2012. This decision was authored by none other than Judge Easterbrook and was abrogated by the Supreme Court under the Bruen decision.

While not receiving the injunction is certainly disappointing, this was the expected outcome. We drew a panel with two known antigun judges, and as expected they misapplied the Bruen standard in coming to their decision.

We will be deciding in the coming days if we are appealing this case to the Supreme Court, or if we will instead appeal to an en banc panel in the 7th Circuit.

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