Friedman v. City of Highland Park, No. 14-3091 (7th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Highland Park, Illinois prohibits possession of assault weapons or large‐capacity magazines (those that can accept more than 10 rounds). The ordinance defines an assault weapon as any semi‐automatic gun that can accept a large‐capacity magazine and has: a pistol grip without a stock (for semi‐ automatic pistols, the capacity to accept a magazine outside the pistol grip); a folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock; a grip for the non‐trigger hand; a barrel shroud; or a muzzle brake or compensator. Some weapons, such as AR‐15s and AK‐47s, are prohibited by name. Opponents sought to enjoin enforcement of the ordinance, arguing that it violated the Second Amendment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed denial, stating that the Second Amendment “does not imperil every law regulating firearms.” Supreme Court precedent allows at least some categorical limits on the kinds of weapons that can be possessed. Instead of trying to decide what “level” of scrutiny applies, the court considered whether the law banned weapons that were common at the time of ratification or those that have “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia,” and whether law‐abiding citizens retain adequate means of self‐defense. Whether the limits expressed in Supreme Court precedent should be extended is a question for the Justices.