Yet another nonsense arbitrary and pretty blatantly unconstitutional law is being challenged by gun rights activists.
Highland Park, Illinois’ “assault weapons ban” is being challenged in the courts.
“Assault weapons” as a concept outside of strict military use is defined politically and lacks a consistent definition and is defined differently in each piece of legislation addressing it. The only commonality is that the weapons are semiautomatic-only firearms, which makes reference to them as “assault weapons” a complete misnomer as military assault weapons are select-fire meaning that they can fire more than one round per trigger pull.
Civilian rifles lack that capability.
Highland Park’s version is intentionally drawn to outlaw semiautomatic rifles of all kinds, including the .22LR which frequently isn’t targeted by other bans. It also includes semiautomatic pistols that can accept high capacity magazines outside of the grip – both bans stand regardless of the size of the actual magazine that is in the firearm.
In short, Highland Park is trying to ban anything that is a rifle and is semiautomatic, regardless of magazine size. It includes semiautomatic shotguns. Oddly, the city’s legislation cites the DC v Heller ruling as a legitimizing factor, in spite of that the Heller ruling specifically declared that common-use firearms may not be banned.
Highland Park is trying to get around that without admitting what it’s doing and is implicitly admitting that the firearm itself can’t be banned by instead banning accessories attached to the firearms which largely help the rifle be functional as a means of trying to do an end-around because the rifles always have at least one of the accessories that the law outlaws: Pistol grip without stock attached, anything functioning as a portruding grip that can be held by non-trigger hand, folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock, barrel shroud, muzzle brake/compensator.
The pistol grips and barrel shroud are for properly aiming the gun, and in the case of the barrel shroud, to keep the non-trigger hand from being burned by the heat of the barrel. So they technically aren’t banning the gun itself like so many other deceitful attempts at doing so, they’re banning basically everything that makes the gun operable and controllable. So you can have the gun you just can’t control its aim by adding accessories to it.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? Sounds safe!
And guess what? A rare deranged shooter who wants to use the rifle still can – he can use multiple smaller magazines and wear an oven mitt to protect his hand from the heat of the barrel.
So much for that.
Highland Park’s law misrepresents the quotation of the US v Miller decision in the Heller ruling which ruled that lawful prohibition of firearms referred to “dangerous and unusual” arms such as sawed-off shotguns and automatic weapons (cited specifically) and stated that arms in common use may not be outlawed.
And guess what the DC v Heller ruling stated which Highland Park tried to cherry pick?
The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment . The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense.
Because Heller reaffirmed the prohibition of outlawing common-use firearms set down by the Miller decision. So instead they try to ban the accessories attached to the firearm that make it operable.
Denver, Colorado previously attempted such a categorical ban of semiautomatic rifles, listing specific brands as Highland Park has. It was struck down and gutted as unconstitutional in Robinson v. Denver, leaving the city with a shell of an “assault weapons ban” that categorizes only semiautomatic rifles with magazines of greater capacity than 20 rounds and shotguns with a capacity of over 6 as such.
So in Denver, you can own 200 magazines of 20 rounds capacity for your AK rifle, but not one magazine of 30 rounds.
Don’t you feel safe, now?