- Seventh Circuit recently held expedited oral arguments on the ban of assault weapons and large capacity magazines
- Judges on the panel showed bias against firearms and the Second Amendment
- Plaintiffs challenge Illinois state law banning assault weapons and large capacity magazines
- State argued for interest balancing despite Supreme Court's rejection in Bruin
- Judges displayed disdain for the Supreme Court's ruling in Bruin
- Arguments focused on the dangerous and unusual analysis
- Judges tried to divert focus to unrelated arms such as machine guns and grenades
- Resistance to the definition of arms protected by the Second Amendment
- Discussion on ATF's authority to ban bump stocks
- Case likely to be a loss for pro-2A side, next steps unknown
The Seventh Circuit recently held expedited oral arguments on the issue of whether or not a ban on so-called assault weapons and large capacity magazines is consistent with the Supreme Court's ruling in Bruin. The judges on the panel displayed a strong bias against firearms and the Second Amendment during these arguments.
The plaintiffs in this case challenged the new Illinois state law that banned assault weapons, such as AR-15s, and large capacity magazines. The state's attorneys relied heavily on interest balancing arguments, despite the Supreme Court's rejection of this approach in Bruin. They argued that the ban was necessary due to the dangerous and unusual nature of these firearms, claiming that they are used in mass casualty events. However, this was an attempt to backdoor interest balancing, which was expressly rejected by Justice Thomas in Bruin.
Judge Wood, one of the judges on the panel, referred to the dangerous and unusual analysis as a dangerous/unusual test, completely ignoring the Supreme Court's clear statements in Heller and Bruin. The state's attorney also argued that AR-15s are not protected by the Second Amendment because they are dangerous and unusual. The judges even tried to divert the focus to unrelated arms such as machine guns and grenades, instead of addressing the specific firearms in question, like the AR-15, which is commonly owned by law-abiding citizens.
Throughout the oral arguments, the judges showed heavy resistance and a disregard for the Supreme Court's ruling in Bruin. Judge Easterbrook repeatedly called the Bruin decision circular and expressed disdain for Justice Thomas' writings. He even attacked the pro-2A attorneys multiple times and claimed that Heller had never addressed what type of arms are protected under the Second Amendment, despite the clear statements in Heller, Bruin, and Caetano.
The judges also brought up the ATF's authority to ban bump stocks, stating that bump stock bans are permissible because bump stocks are considered machine guns. However, this discussion was out of place, as the bump stock lawsuits are not pure Second Amendment challenges like the assault weapon ban cases in Illinois. They are administrative law questions regarding the ATF's authority under the GCA and NFA.
Based on the oral arguments, it is unlikely that the pro-2A side will win this case. The next steps for the plaintiffs will depend on Judge Easterbrook's opinion. If he refuses to uphold the Supreme Court's ruling in Bruin or shows a strong bias against Second Amendment rights, the plaintiffs may choose to take the case on Bonk in the Seventh Circuit or go straight to the Supreme Court. It is important for those in Illinois to be aware of this development, although the outcome is not favorable. Further updates will be provided if more information becomes available.
In conclusion, the oral arguments in the Seventh Circuit revealed a clear bias against firearms and the Second Amendment. The judges disregarded the Supreme Court's rulings in Heller and Bruin, and they attempted to insert unrelated issues into the discussion. Despite the unfavorable outcome expected for the pro-2A side, it is crucial to continue supporting channels and individuals who provide valuable two-way news and education.