BELLEVUE, WA – Attorneys representing the Second Amendment Foundation and its partners in their federal challenge of an Illinois ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “large capacity magazines” have filed a reply brief to the defendants’ effort to defend the ban.

Joining SAF in this case are the Illinois State Rifle Association, Firearms Policy Coalition. Marengo Guns, the C4 Gun Store and Dane Harrel, for whom the case Harrel v. Raoul is known. They are represented by attorney David Sigale of Wheaton, Ill. The case is in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The oral argument is scheduled April 12 in East St. Louis.

According to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, the State of Illinois is trying to defend historical traditions that do not exist. As noted in the reply brief, “No matter how many policy justifications the State may summon, the Second Amendment, by its ‘enshrinement’ in the Constitution ‘necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.’ The only constitutionally acceptable justification for banning certain types of arms is if the State demonstrates that such firearms are both ‘dangerous and unusual.’ The State has failed to do so. Instead, the State searches for other historical traditions, but it cannot identify any tradition of banning the most popular rifles or magazines in contemporary society.”

“Illinois is approaching this case as though the Bruen decision in June 2022 doesn’t exist,” Gottlieb observed. “The state seems to think ‘means-end scrutiny’ is still a viable argument, but the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling eliminated that as a strategy.

“Furthermore,” he continued, “there can be no denying the firearms Illinois wants to ban are in common use all over the country. They are owned by millions of honest citizens for a wide range of uses. Illinois may want to turn a blind eye to that fact, and they want the court to be a willing participant in this effort.

“Because the state has enacted a law which the defendants have the authority to enforce,” Gottlieb observed, “Illinois is trying to make the exercise of Second Amendment rights a crime within its borders by placing a flat prohibition on the manufacture, delivery, sale, import, purchase and possession of the most popular rifle in America today.”