U.S. Supreme Court Surprisingly Upholds Democratic Ban On Assault Rifles

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As explained in a recent report from CNN, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to grant a request for emergency intervention in a court dispute over a ban on assault weapons that was recently enacted in Illinois. Also covered by the challenge were local restrictions, including in a city called Naperville, which is near Chicago.

Court disputes over the restrictions are continuing to move forward at lower levels of the federal court system, and the emergency action the Supreme Court declined to take would have suspended the bans while those levels of dispute play out. Thus, the restrictions were upheld — for now. No explanation for the Supreme Court’s decision was made available, and no dissents, meaning judges who broke with the decision to let the rules temporarily remain active, were noted either. A 2022 decision from the court directed that present-day rules around guns be compared to rules in effect around the time the U.S. Constitution was put into place, which is, of course, an argument seemingly difficult to implement with a straight face, considering how dramatically the world has changed since that period of history.

Those trying to challenge the Illinois rules in court cited the 2022 ruling in their arguments. “Since the Second Amendment presumptively protects Plaintiffs’ conduct, Respondents must justify the challenged laws by demonstrating that they are consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation,” they said.

Following the midterm elections last year, another state with Democrats mostly in charge — Washington — has also moved to implement sharp restrictions on assault rifles, which are defined in that state’s rules according to both a series of specific models and specific features, the latter of which would cover guns not specifically named but that would still function similarly. Although Republicans might have you believe otherwise, a national ban on assault rifles is actually a generally popular prospect. April polling from YouGov found 63 percent of respondents at least somewhat in favor.