Writing that such bans “may increase the public’s sense of safety,” a federal appeals court gave its blessing Monday to an Illinois town’s prohibition on large capacity magazines and certain firearms.
The case, that of gun owner Arie Friedman filed against the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, sought to take the city to task for its 2013 ban on what it defines to be assault rifles to include common AR-15s, and magazines that hold more than 10 cartridges. Supported by the Illinois State Rifle Association and a number of firearms manufacturers and trade groups, Friedman lost his claim to own now-prohibited guns and magazines in violation of the city’s ordinance to a lower court and appealed to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court last year.
A three-judge panel, staffed by a trio of appointments by President Reagan, sided with the city and supporting gun control groups such as the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in upholding the previous ruling by a 2-1 vote.
Brushing aside claims by the plaintiffs that firearms such as the AR-15, often referred to as “America’s Gun,” and its standard 30-round magazine are in common use, and to ban them would be a violation of the Second Amendment, the two-judge majority advised that widespread adoption did not translate into acceptance in the eyes of the federal government.
“During Prohibition, the Thompson submachine gun (the ‘Tommy gun’) was all too common in Chicago, but that popularity didn’t give it a constitutional immunity from the federal prohibition enacted in 1934,” wrote Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook for the majority that included Judge Ann Claire Williams, noting the regulation of full-auto firearms under the National Firearms Act of 1934.