(The Center Square) – A federal appeals court this week denied a request to halt Illinois’ “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazine bans pending an appeal.
The case Bevis v. Naperville was filed last year challenging Naperville’s gun ban.
The plaintiffs modified the federal case to include the state’s gun ban enacted in January.
In February, federal Judge Virginia Kendall ruled the ban on certain weapons is “consistent” with the “historical tradition of firearms regulation.”
The plaintiffs appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals with a request the law be blocked pending appeal. An appeals court denied that motion on Tuesday.
G-PAC board member John Schmidt said gun control advocates got a win, but the case continues.
“So are we impairing the right to bear arms because we limit the ability to buy certain types of weapons, I think my common sense answer to that is ‘no’ but we have to see ultimately what the [U.S.] Supreme Court has to say about that,” Schmidt told The Center Square.
Schmidt said things could get interesting with the challenge in the Southern District of Illinois federal court where a ruling on whether to block the law is pending before a judge.
“He is not bound by the decision that was reached earlier here in Chicago, so he could come out differently, but he is in the Seventh Circuit, so whatever the Seventh Circuit does now on appeal from the Chicago case will also be binding on the judge in East St. Louis,” Schmidt said.
The timing of the cases is unclear but it is expected the ultimate decision will be up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The arguments come down to whether governments can restrict access to certain guns after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year changed the standard for how courts are to deal with such measures.
Gun rights groups argue the government cannot ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15.
Gun control groups and the state argue they have the power to ban “unusual and dangerous” firearms.
The federal cases are separate from the state-level challenges, where there are four pending cases, including one from state Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, which will be heard by the Illinois Supreme Court next month.