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Barnett v. Raoul


Defending Illinois’s restrictions on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.

Courts: Southern District of Illinois; Seventh Circuit

Issues at Stake: Assault weapons; Large-capacity magazines

Summary: Barnett v. Raoul is a Second Amendment challenge to Illinois’s law restricting the sale, distribution, and possession of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. 

Everytown filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in defense of Illinois’s law. The brief raises three main points in arguing why the regulations are constitutional under the approach to Second Amendment cases set out in New York Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen. First, it explains that plaintiffs have not met their burden to establish that the Second Amendment’s plain text covers assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. Second, the brief argues that the court should center its historical analysis on 1868 as opposed to 1791, and should also consider earlier and later laws. Finally, it explains even a small number of laws can be sufficient to establish a tradition of firearm regulation under Bruen

Decision: On April 28, 2023, the district court granted plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. Illinois appealed, and the Seventh Circuit stayed the preliminary injunction pending appeal. Oral argument in the Seventh Circuit was held on June 29, 2023, and the case is currently awaiting decision. Everytown filed a brief in the Seventh Circuit in Bevis v. City of Naperville, which was heard together with Barnett v. Raoul, for consideration in both cases.

Case Documents