(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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By C.D. Michel

Monday was the deadline for the state defendants to file their reply briefs and to file amicus (friend of the court) briefs in several cases challenging Illinois’ “assault weapon” and standard capacity magazine bans in the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit. The oral argument is scheduled for Thursday, 6/29, in Chicago.

Perhaps most prominent among the cases are four consolidated cases that are proceeding under Barnett v. Raoul because those cases prevailed in the lower federal district court and succeeded in getting that court to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the law.

The amicus briefs support all of the groups challenging Illinois’ law banning so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines (the misnamed Protect Illinois Communities Act “PICA”). The Second Amendment Law Center is particularly thankful for the assistance of several of the plaintiff’s groups that worked with us: FFL-Illinois, Guns Save Life, Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, and Piasa Armory.

The amicus briefs supporting the groups challenging the law’s constitutionality are outstanding. See who stood up for the Second Amendment below.

Plaintiffs filed their response to the state’s opening briefs, where the government defendants urged the court to uphold the law earlier this week. A preliminary injunction issued by the lower court blocked the implementation of PICA since it bans nearly every modern semiautomatic rifle (and a whole lot more) commonly possessed in America. But the Court of Appeals stayed that injunction while the appeal is litigated, so the law is currently in effect.

The plaintiffs’ response brief noted that “the district court was thus eminently correct to recognize Illinois’s grave overstep and enjoin HB 5471”. The state cannot simply slap a misleading label on any firearm they don’t like and ban those firearms when they’re in common use and owned by millions of law-abiding Americans.

Second Amendment Law Center has been working hard to coordinate amicus briefs from a wide variety of groups including law enforcement, states, scholars, and experts. With 2ALC’s encouragement, the following groups filed amicus briefs asking the Court of Appeals to strike down the law:

The States of Idaho, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

This is huge. Twenty-four states are now on record opposing semi-auto and magazine bans. What are the chances for California Governor Gavin Newsom to get his 28th Amendment to the Constitution banning semi-autos passed when 24 states are already on record against it? Hint: It was always dead on arrival. Now it’s even deader.

International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, National Association of Chiefs of Police,

Second Amendment Law Center, Gun Owners of California, California Rifle & Pistol Association, State Line Rifle Association, Dewitt County Sportsman’s Club

American Firearms Association

D.C. Project Foundation, Operation Blazing Sword, and Liberal Gun Club

2ALC thanks all of the amicus groups that joined in supporting the challenges to this unconstitutional law.

The amicus briefs cover various issues the plaintiffs couldn’t cover comprehensively because of court-imposed page limitations. Those issues include what the text of the Second Amendment protects, how to properly apply the Bruen test for determining whether a gun law is constitutional, an explanation of the technology of firearms, the differences and similarities between military and civilian arms, and the appropriate period to look for historical laws that might be appropriate to consider in determining whether the founders would tolerate the current law.

All of the briefs and other filings can be read here.

2ALC attorneys expect these amicus briefs will positively impact the court’s reasoning, and we’re hopeful of victory here. A well-coordinated amicus brief campaign can make the difference between success and failure, and that’s what the Second Amendment Law Center is all about. But we recognize the politics behind the issues and are prepared to take this to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Lawyers for anti-gun owner states like Illinois and California play on emotions and make creative arguments to try and get around the Bruen ruling and get a court to side with their twisted analysis of historical laws and the Bruen test. They distort the Second Amendment’s meaning through their made-up versions of its history and tradition.

The District Court correctly applied the Bruen test, and its preliminary injunction should remain. Hopefully, the Seventh Circuit will agree, and will uphold the lower court’s ruling.

We must continue to fight back and hold the ground that we’re gaining in each of these cases across the country. Visit 2ALC.org and DONATE TO HELP US KEEP UP THE FIGHT IN ILLINOIS AND OTHER STATES.

C.D. “Chuck” Michel is Senior Partner at the Long Beach, California Law firm of Michel & Associates, P.C. He is the author of California Gun Laws, A Guide to State and Federal Firearm Regulations now in its 10th edition for 2023 and available at www.calgunlawsbook.com.

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  1. Looks I’ll have to scrape up my dimes & join SAF. Even though we’re seriously planning a move east it’s good to see! Regardless you ain’t getting my gats🙄

    • Right answer for all points 🙂 now to see which circuit either upholds or bans AWB’s first and who starts the split to expedite.

      • Unfortunately it’s all irrelevant. Likely one will make its way to SCOTUS and be put down. Then those anti-American states will change the language like they have post Bruen, and the process starts all over again. This is the nature of our system where unconstitutional acts by our elected officials, in direct violation of their oath of office, go unpunished and without any accountability. There is only one path to ending these events and sadly, I think they are pushing us down that path more every year.

        • It is a concern to prepare for but still hoping for the more optimistic resolution of actually recognizing basic civil rights (lol I know I know).

        • In fact, at the common law of a constitutional republic, the government is strictly held to only act upon those subjects so privileged to them to act upon and for all else not specified, absolutely denied.
          This principle is affirmed in Federalist 49 by Madison and in US Supreme Cout rulings of: Martell, Murdock and South Vs Maryland.
          All existing gun laws on the possession by lawful citizens, are null and void and without standing in the USA.

    • Help me understand. FWW.
      Does that mean you have fallen from grace or did your canoe sink?

      • His canoe sank on the IL stretch of the Little Calumet. Probably float back up across the line…

        • LOL😀😎😏🙄 There’s very little water in the Little Calumet right now. Drought dontcha know🙃

        • Ok, I admit I haven’t seen it in a couple years. And low water oughta make finding them easier. But you won’t want to dawdle!👍

  2. The Heller created “common use” test is absolute BS and totally flawed. So with this test, any “new” gun could be banned because it is not yet in “common use”. And don’t you think for one nanosecond the left hasn’t already thought about that one. The only Constitutionally acceptable “common use” test is tangentially cited in Miller (1939). In Miller, SCOTUS used the introductory statement of the 2nd Amendment to imply that arms of efficacy to the Military (common use ish) are specifically protected for the Militia and hence the People. That is the path to take. And on that common use test it is not of a specific model, but type of platform, such as semi or automatic. Yes, semi-automatic arms have been of very excellent efficacy to the military as are autos. Miller, if properly used, is the path to ending the NFA completely.

    • That is worth exploring and with states that have state level NFA bans may be ideal starting points for some of those challenges as it can provide a learning curve that can be halted at a state/district level if the wrong approach is found to be in use.

      • It has amazed me some spry up and coming Constitutional lawyer hasn’t already put the NFA to the test for say machine guns. Clearly Miller provides SCOTUS precedence. Clearly machine guns are of provable efficacy to the Military. So clearly the NFA restriction is unconstitutional. But to be perfectly honest, most of us really have no desire to own machine guns. Geeze, just the thought of sending 50 .308s down range is seconds just makes my wallet cringe.

    • RE: “The Heller created “common use” test is absolute BS and totally flawed. So with this test, any “new” gun could be banned because it is not yet in “common use”.

      Common-use flew right over the heads of many giddy Gun talkers. In other words, forget owning Phasers.

      • I’m really not sure how you come to that ridiculous conclusion. The finding clearly states that IF evidence had been shown that short barrel shotguns were of efficacy to the Military, then the ban would be unconstitutional. No one showed up for Miller to provide such evidence. It is quite simple to argue and win that every single type of firearm is of efficacy for the Military and thus specifically protected by the 2nd Amendment introductory statement.

        • Correct. FWIW short-barreled shotguns were VERY useful in the ww1 trenches- to the point that the Germans threatened to shoot any American caught with one. Dunno if the actually caught or shot any Americans, but the short-barreled shotguns WERE in common use by our men.

    • Gman, as no privilege is delegated to public servants to act upon the RKBA, then they are absolutely prohibited from doing so.
      This is a common law principle.
      All laws infringing RKBA, are null, void and without standing in the USA.

      • Well the left has a habit of redefining words. So it depends on your definition of infringe.

  3. Gun Control has zip, nada, nothing to do with fighting crime. If Gun Control was purely about preventing crime the plaintiffs would not be a long list of law abiding citizens, etc.

    Throughout documented history Gun Control has subjected the defenseless to atrocities like Racism and Genocide. For so called defenders of the Second Amendment to sit silent in a courtroom while the Second Amendment is being scrutinized by Gun Control zealots and fail to define Gun Control according to its History is without doubt another atrocity.

  4. Lefty government arguments are already attacking, though not likely successfully once they reach SCOTUS, the “common use” test. They are arguing that AR-15s are not in common use for “self defence”. Just because millions are owned, there is no data to prove they are being used for any one particular purpose. See what they are doing here? They will never relent in finding new and crazy ideas to parse words when we all know what the intent was. This is just another reason the common use test is BS. Every time the left uses a new and novel way to skirt around the last decision it takes a decade to fix. They have enough activist judges to shop around to just to keep the cases going and going and going….

  5. Several of our solid pro-Second votes on the USSC are aging out. If Biden and his handlers get to pick their replacements, we as gun-owners will be royally screwed for many years to come as some of these cases make their way to the Court…

  6. The National Firearm Act was written to tax certain firearms. How is it constitutional to tax a fundamental right?

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