• Press Release

Gun Safety Advocates Win Again, as the Supreme Court Refuses to Block the Illinois Assault Weapons Ban

Today is a victory for survivors, activists, and for every person, family, and community in Illinois

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Supreme Court once again refused to block Illinois’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. This life-saving decision came with no noted dissents and is a massive upset to the National Association for Gun Rights and their legal challenge to the ban.

Weapons of war like assault weapons make Illinois less safe and the unprecedented proliferation of assault weapons requires common sense, modern-day solutions, like the Protect Illinois Communities Act. The law, which passed in no small part due to organizers with March For Our Lives in Illinois, was crafted in response to the horrifying July 4th Highland Park shooting last summer. The law regulates assault weapons, particularly deadly semi-automatic pistols, large capacity magazines (LCMs), and “switches”—modifiers that convert semi-automatic pistols into fully automatic weapons. These modifications are commonly chosen by mass shooters to increase the harm they can inflict; a study found that shootings that occurred between 1990 and 2017 involving large capacity magazines resulted in a 62% higher death toll.

That is why when the act was challenged in Bevis v. City of Naperville, we stepped in and filed an amicus brief that shared the stories of 20 courageous Illinois citizens whose lives were indelibly impacted by semi-automatic weapons and modifiers.

“We are glad that the Supreme Court did its most basic job and chose to protect lives rather than the gun lobby,” said Yvin Shin, a Legal Associate at March For Our Lives. “Our courtrooms are not sterile chambers and our judges have to consider and understand the human impact that assault weapons have, especially in places like Highland Park, where the community has barely even had a chance to grieve before coming under attack by the extremist gun lobby. It’s crystal clear that weapons of war have no place on city streets or in our communities and that overturning such a ban is not only cruel for survivors, but will only lead to more death and trauma. While the gun lobby will continue to throw its money and influence at our politicians and courts, we will continue to fight them and stand up for survivors, young people, and every person at risk of experiencing gun violence in America.”