Illinois assault weapons ban withstands appeal in federal court

A Chicago federal court denied a request by Robert Bevis, a firearms store owner in Naperville, to block the ban while he appeals a Virginia ruling that found the ban “constitutionally sound.”

SHARE Illinois assault weapons ban withstands appeal in federal court
Robert Bevis, owner of Law Weapons and Supply in Naperville, holds an AR-15-style rifle.

Robert Bevis, owner of Law Weapons and Supply in Naperville, holding an AR-15-style rifle.

Rich Hein / Sun-Times file

The federal appeals court in Chicago on Tuesday denied a request to block the Illinois assault weapons ban while it faces legal challenges.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request for an injunction by Robert Bevis, a firearms store owner in Naperville, while he appeals a ruling by U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall that found the ban “constitutionally sound.”

Bevis sought the injunction last month, asking the appeals court to block the ban for himself and anyone else affected by the law.

Illinois banned the sale of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines in a bill signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Jan. 10. It requires that anyone who already owned such a weapon to register it with the Illinois State Police.

The law also capped the purchase of magazines at 10 rounds for long guns and 15 for handguns and made rapid-fire devices known as switches illegal because they turn firearms into fully automatic weapons.

Pritzker’s signature came six months after a man used an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle to kill seven people and wound more than 48 others at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade.

Bevis’ lawyers argued that his Law Weapons & Supply business suffered because of the ban and might end up closing if it can’t sell the popular guns.

In her ruling, Kendall wrote that, “because assault weapons are particularly dangerous weapons … their regulation accords with history and tradition.”

Bevis’ lawyers have cited earlier Supreme Court rulings that weapons must be found to be “dangerous and unusual” to be banned. Because assault-style rifles are “commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” they can’t be banned because they are “not unusual,” they argued.

Bevis’ lawsuit is just one of several lawsuits seeking to overturn the state ban.

The Latest
The two-car crash happened about 11:20 p.m. at Biesterfield and Meacham roads.
It’s a challenge to find empathy for Netflix show’s unpleasant antihero, even as he deals with the horror of a missing child.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office optimistically put out a statement to celebrate the budget’s spending measure after it cleared the Illinois House. But the revenue measure was trickier.
College student’s mom would prefer that the young woman not accompany him to every family event at home and on campus.
In January, a Yellow Banana executive promised the city that his company would improve after multiple delays opening stores in underserved South and West side communities.