Judge Places Restraining Order on HB 5471 Involving Traveling with Weapons
HB 5471 is an interesting case. The new law would effectively ban assault weapons in Illinois. Several watchdogs and gun rights groups filed a lawsuit protesting the new law, which was pushed through quickly and signed into law without due consideration, according to the plaintiffs in this case. The plaintiffs filed suit calling the law unconstitutional and were granted a stay or a temporary restraining order by a federal judge who ruled that the law causes irreparable harm to the rights of Illinois residents. Now, the defendants are appealing that decision and asking the court to vacate the temporary restraining order which prevents the law from going into effect.
At issue is whether or not the law violates your Second Amendment right to bear arms, your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and your 14th Amendment right of equal protection. The legislation would effectively ban the delivery, sale, and purchase of “assault weapons” within the State of Illinois. The legislation does not impact possession of the weapon as Illinois laws do with automatic weapons and machine guns. Nonetheless, it would ban several brands including AR-15, attachments, and .50 caliber weapons. Further, the rule would limit any rifle to a maximum 10 round capacity.
Those who own such guns would be allowed to keep them but would be required to register those guns with the Illinois police (an apparent violation of the 5th Amendment). Merchants who carry these weapons would be allowed to sell them off, sell them out of state, or sell them to law enforcement.
Eight states have already enacted bans on semi-automatic weapons that include magazine cartridge limits. These bans don’t target all weapons, but weapons of a certain caliber or weapons that can fire automatically with enough skill with the weapon.
On the other side, defenders of gun rights claim that restrictions on guns of any sort must be challenged because they encroach upon a fundamental right. It was on this basis that the judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing the law from taking effect.
At issue is whether or not the public’s right to safety supersedes our Constitutionally guaranteed rights. A separate issue is whether or not this particular gun legislation violates Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
While it’s true that the Second Amendment ensures our right to bear arms, it does not prevent governments from passing legislation that makes it illegal to own certain types of weapons. Similar states to Illinois have passed bans that have survived the appeals process. However, Illinois will have to set its own precedent. As of now, there is no law preventing the sale of semi-automatic weapons in the state.
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