7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case Name: Javier Herrera v. Kwame Raoul
Case No.: 23-1793
Officials: Easterbrook, Wood, and Brennan, Circuit Judges.
Focus: The Protect Illinois Communities Act
The Protect Illinois Communities Act, Pub. Act 102-1116, effective January 2023, along with three municipal laws, govern the possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The Illinois Supreme Court has validated the Act, which prohibits individuals within the state from knowingly engaging in activities such as manufacturing, delivering, selling, importing, or purchasing assault weapons, assault weapon attachments, .50 caliber rifles, or .50 caliber cartridges, all without delving into Second Amendment considerations. The Act provides exemptions for “trained professionals” and “grandfathered individuals.”
The Seventh Circuit has upheld the denial of injunctions, asserting that the state and municipalities have a strong likelihood of success in the ongoing legal proceedings. The argument maintains a longstanding tradition, consistent since the addition of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, that distinguishes between weapons and accessories intended for military or law enforcement use and those designed for personal use. The Act respects and relies on this differentiation. Citing precedent from Blackstone through 19th-century cases, commentators and courts have consistently clarified that the right to bear arms does not extend to any weapon, in any manner, and for any purpose. The widespread ownership of assault weapons does not grant immunity from regulation.