Chicago federal appeals court denies request to block Illinois' assault weapons ban

The federal appeals court in Chicago on Tuesday denied a request to block the state’s assault weapons ban while it faces legal challenges.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request for an injunction by Robert Bevis, a firearms store owner in Naperville, while he appeals a ruling by U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall that found the ban "constitutionally sound."

Bevis sought the injunction last month, asking the appeals court to block the ban for himself and anyone else affected by the law.

Illinois banned the sale of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines in a bill signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Jan. 10. It required anyone who already owned such a weapon to register it with state police.


The law also capped the purchase of magazines at 10 rounds for long guns and 15 for handguns, and made rapid-fire devices, known as "switches," illegal because they turn firearms into fully automatic weapons.

Pritzker’s signature came six months after a gunman used an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle to kill seven people and wound more than 48 others at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade.

Bevis’ lawyers claimed his business, Law Weapons & Supply, had suffered because of the ban and may have to close because it could not sell the popular guns.

In her ruling, Judge Kendall reasoned that "because assault weapons are particularly dangerous weapons … their regulation accords with history and tradition."

Attorneys for Bevis have cited earlier Supreme Court rulings that weapons must be found to be "dangerous and unusual" to be banned. Because assault-style rifles are "commonly possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes," they can’t be banned because they are "not unusual," they argued.

Bevis’ lawsuit is just one of several legal challenges seeking to overturn the state’s ban.