An Illinois circuit court judge granted a temporary injunction against the city of Deerfield's new assault weapons ban on Tuesday night.
The Lake County judge blocked enforcement of the ordinance which would have levied fines of up to $1,000 a day on residents who did not turn over, destroy, or remove nearly all semi-automatic rifles as well as many handguns and shotguns. A number of gun-rights groups filed suit against the Deerfield gun ban shortly after it was announced. The National Rifle Association supported Guns Save Life's suit while the Second Amendment Foundation filed a separate suit with the Illinois State Rifle Association.
The Second Amendment Foundation suit claimed that the Deerfield ordinance violates Illinois state's preemption law that took effect in 2013. Under that statute, all new gun laws must be passed at the state level and localities are not allowed to pass their own. The gun-rights group said it wanted to block the ordinance before it was enforced in order to protect the rights of Deerfield residents.
"We moved swiftly to challenge this gun ban because it flew in the face of state law," Alan Gottlieb, founder of the group, said in a statement. "The village tried to disguise its extremism as an amendment to an existing ordinance. The ordinance bans possession of legally-owned semi-auto firearms, with no exception for guns previously owned, or any provision for self-defense. Worse, still, the ordinance also provided for confiscation and destruction of such firearms and their original capacity magazines."
He went on to say the Deerfield gun ban was evidence that at least some gun-control advocates do want to take people's guns away.
"It was outrageous that the ban would levy fines of up to $1,000 a day against anyone who refused to turn in their gun and magazines or move them out of the village," Gottlieb said. "This certainly puts the lie to claims by anti-gunners that 'nobody is coming to take your guns.'"
The Illinois State Rifle Association said they were "pleased" with the court's ruling. "We will now seek a permanent injunction," the group said in a statement.
Deerfield officials said they would honor the judge's ruling and are considering whether or not to appeal the decision.
"We are reviewing with our legal team the full written opinion that the Judge entered," the city said in a statement. "We will, of course, honor the order issued by the Court and temporarily not enforce the ordinance; but we are certainly going to review all of the options available to the Village, including the right to appeal the decision to the Illinois Appellate Court."
The judge's full opinion in the case was not immediately available.