U.S. Supreme Court to discuss challenges to gun ban in upcoming conference

The U.S. Supreme Court has distributed cases challenging gun and magazine bans for an upcoming conference. Several lawsuits from Illinois are among those being considered.

In January 2023, Illinois enacted a ban on over 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines that exceeded certain capacities. This decision led to the filing of federal lawsuits. However, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected appeals challenging the law in the previous year. In February, the plaintiffs sought intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled a conference on May 16, 2024, to discuss various Illinois cases. Additionally, they will also address a case challenging Maryland’s ban.

According to Alan Gottlieb from the Second Amendment Foundation, “It’s extremely important because we have been putting in a lot of effort to bring a case to the Supreme Court that addresses these issues, and I believe we are finally going to achieve that goal.”

Gottlieb anticipates that if the court decides to hear the cases, they will likely be consolidated.

He said that it is realistic to find out by the end of the month, and there is a possibility that it may happen in June.

The state of Illinois contends that the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals made the correct ruling by stating that the ban has a high chance of success based on its argument that semi-automatic firearms, which are prohibited, are comparable to military weapons. However, Gottlieb disagrees and believes that the U.S. Supreme Court should intervene.

According to Gottlieb, the significance of the issue lies in the potential consequences. He argues that if semi-automatic firearms are banned today, it opens the door for a ban on single-shot guns in the future. Gottlieb emphasizes that the Second Amendment does not specify any limitations based on technological advancements, highlighting the importance of protecting one’s rights regardless of advancements in firearms technology.

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Plaintiffs argue that states and lower courts are disregarding the established precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2022. This precedent mandates that when formulating and defending gun control laws, states and courts must consider both the language of the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, and the gun regulations that existed during the founding era.

A trial on the merits is expected to take place in July for a group of consolidated cases that are still pending in the Southern District of Illinois U.S. Court.

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