New York – Everytown Law, the nation’s largest team of gun violence prevention litigators, released the following statement following the conclusion of oral arguments in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on Bevis v. City of Naperville, which centers on a Second Amendment challenge to the State of Illinois’ recently enacted law restricting assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. The law was passed in the wake of the tragic mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, where seven people were shot and killed and an additional 48 people were wounded at a July Fourth parade by a shooter using an assault weapon and a large-capacity magazine.
“Laws that restrict assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are critical public-safety measures and, as courts have repeatedly held, are constitutional under the Second Amendment,” said Eric Tirschwell, Executive Director of Everytown Law. “Assault weapons and large-capacity magazines have been used in the majority of our nation’s deadliest mass shooting incidents over the past decade. The court can – and should – uphold Illinois’ life-saving law.”
From 2015 to 2022, shootings with four or more people killed where assault weapons were used resulted in six times as many people shot, more than twice as many people killed, and 23 times as many people wounded per incident, on average. Additionally, since 2015, at least eight of the ten deadliest mass shooting incidents involved an assault weapon and a large-capacity magazine.
To date, 10 states and Washington D.C. have enacted laws to prohibit assault weapons, and 14 states and Washington, D.C. have enacted laws to prohibit large-capacity magazines. These laws were repeatedly upheld by federal courts in the fourteen years between the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which first held that there is an individual right under the Second Amendment, and its Second Amendment decision last June in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen.
The Bruen decision opened the door for chaos in the courts, welcoming judges to issue extreme decisions on gun safety. Over the last year, the gun lobby has renewed its challenges to assault weapon and large-capacity magazine laws in courts throughout the country, in addition to its numerous challenges on other key gun safety laws.
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