Plaintiffs seek to present evidence to support their allegation that this particular Ordinance encompasses a myriad of weapons that are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes and fall outside the scope of the dangers sought to be protected under the Ordinance. Without a national uniform definition of assault weapons from which to judge these weapons, it cannot be ascertained at this stage of the proceedings whether these arms with these particular attributes as defined in this Ordinance are well suited for self-defense or sport or would be outweighed completely by the collateral damage resulting from their use, making them “dangerous and unusual” as articulated in Heller. This question requires us to engage in an empirical inquiry beyond the scope of the record and beyond the scope of judicial notice about the nature of the weapons that are banned under this Ordinance and the dangers of these particular weapons.This is not an ideal result, but the question of whether assault weapons are commonly owned for lawful purposes by civilians is going to end up with the answer: "Yes." To justify a ban in spite of this will require Chicago to demonstrate that such weapons are dramatically more dangerous than other firearms. That they won't be able to do.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Illinois Supreme Court & Chicago Assault Weapons Ban
The Illinois Supreme Court in Wilson v. Cook County (2012) has held that whether the banned assault weapons are protected by the Second Amendment is a matter of fact to be re-examined by the trial court: