Highland Park Ban On Semi-Automatic Weapons, Large Magazines Allowed To Stand

Dec 7, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from gun owners who challenged a Chicago suburb's ban on assault weapons.

The justices on Monday refused to hear the case of a Highland Park pediatrician who objected to the city's 2013 ban on semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines. The federal appeals court in Chicago upheld the Highland Park law, ruling that local governments have leeway in deciding how to regulate firearms.

The appeal, filed by Dr. Arie Friedman and the Illinois State Rifle Association, argues that Highland Park has violated their constitutional rights by banning some of the most popular semi-automatic guns in the United States as well as ammunition magazines of more than 10 rounds.

Richard Pearson, director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, was disappointed the Supreme Court did not hear the case. His organization is still waiting for the conclusion of a state court case challenging a similar ban in Cook County. He said the group also will keep looking for new plaintiffs in areas that have enacted assault-weapons prohibitions.

"We are not going to give up and we're not going to go away," Pearson said.

In October, the federal appeals court in New York largely upheld similar laws in Connecticut and New York, among a handful of states that ban semi-automatic weapons.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly turned away challenges to gun restrictions since two landmark decisions that spelled out the right to a handgun to defend one's own home.  

Seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning assault weapons. The others are California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. In addition, Minnesota and Virginia regulate assault weapons, the center said.