The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to block two Illinois laws prohibiting the sale of high-powered guns and high-capacity magazines while challenges to them move forward. The justices struck down a New York gun control law last year, announcing a new test to evaluate the constitutionality of such measures. Several other states, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Washington have enacted similar laws in the wake of mass shootings around the nation.
The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), along with Robert Bevis—a gun store owner from Naperville—sued to challenge these laws claiming they violated Second Amendment rights. However, Judge Virginia M. Kendall's ruling was upheld when the federal appeals court in Chicago refused to block these laws while her decision is appealed.
In response to multiple mass shootings like that at Highland Park which claimed seven lives on July 4th last year; Illinois enacted legislation banning assault-style weapons such as AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. Although initially blocked by a federal judge for this new law—the 7th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals put that decision on hold allowing lower courts time to consider its impact given the recent expansion of gun rights by the Supreme Court.
Appeals courts are expediting their consideration across five different cases challenging this legislation alongside state supreme court hearings over similar matters.
Despite refusing immediate intervention against both local ordinances and statewide bans upholding restrictions during appeal proceedings; it remains likely that NAGR v City of Naperville will eventually return before Justices once more as emergency docket requests follow previous denials blocking New York gun regulations earlier this year without explanation or oral argument involved therein.
As fatal shootings continue throughout America—including eight victims killed during an attack at Allen Texas Outlet Mall May 1st—one person murdered within Atlanta medical building premises April 30th plus six students shot dead at Nashville's private Christian school back on March 27th—the fight against assault rifle restrictions remains ongoing.
Gun rights activists argue that under major Second Amendment rulings, they should be allowed to keep and bear the semi-automatic firearms and large-capacity magazines targeted by Illinois laws. However, for now, the Supreme Court has left these state and local bans in place without providing emergency relief to those challenging their constitutionality.