SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision Thursday that opens the way for Second Amendment advocates to argue in court Cook County's assault weapons ban. The decision, written by Justice Mary Jane Theis, who won the Democrat nominee spot for her district during the March 20th primary, wrote the decision available online HERE. The Chicago Sun Times gives a synopsis of this case:
The ban was challenged in a lawsuit filed in 2007 by three Cook County residents — Matthew Wilson, Troy Edhlund and Joseph Messineo — who said they had valid reasons to own the prohibited weapons, from hunting to target shooting to personal protection and argued that the law was too vague and too broad and did little to improve public safety.
A judge rejected their challenge, finding that the ordinance “provides standards and a reasoned basis on which to determine whether a firearm is banned” and “does not arbitrarily differentiate…because the banned firearms are either listed, a copy or duplicate, or fall under the characteristics-based test.”
The Illinois Appellate Court upheld that ruling.
Then, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Chicago city ordinance that essentially banned handguns, holding that the Second Amendment establishes a fundamental right to possess a handgun for self-defense. The Illinois appeals court took another look at the case in light of the new Supreme Court ruling but still found the Cook County ban was constitutional.
But when appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court, they refused a decision and sent the debate back down to lower courts, where the case will now be heard.