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Judge Halts Deerfield's Attempt to Ban Guns

CHICAGO (CBS)—A judge Wednesday blocked a ban on assault weapons that was set to go into effect in north suburban Deerfield today.

Gun rights advocates are declaring victory while village Trustees are pondering their next move after Lake County Circuit Court Judge Luis Berrones decided to halt the Deerfield ordinance.

Approved in April in response to the mass shooting that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, the ordinance gave residents until June 13 to either get rid of any firearms fitting the village's definition of assault weapons or surrender those weapons to the village.

Anyone violating the law could be fined up to $1,000 per day.

The judge's decision to block the ban prevents the village from enforcing those measures until the matter plays out in court.

CBS 2's political reporter Derrick Blakley spoke with gun rights advocates today after the hearing.

"I feel that in my home, here in Deerfield, that I should have the right to be able to protect my family," Beth Sciarretta of Deerfield said.

After the village approved the ban on assault weapons, gun rights advocates jumped in by filing two lawsuits—both claiming Deerfield lacks the authority to ban assault weapons under the state's Firearm Concealed Carry Act.

The 2013 law put firearms regulation into the hands of the state, but gave municipalities a ten-day window to decide whether to implement local assault weapons bans before the state ban kicked in.

Some Deerfield residents like Candia Hebson, said firearms don't belong in a quiet town like Deerfield.

"I don't think assault weapons need to be in communities like this—I don't think they need to be anywhere," Hebson said. "People can break into houses, people can steal them (and) they can get into the wrong hands.

One of the parties to file a lawsuit against the village's move to ban firearms was Deerfield gun owner Daniel Easterday, who told Blakley he objects to prohibition of both assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.

"Especially in regard to the addition of the high capacity magazine ban being added into an amendment that has no language whatsoever about magazines," Easterday said.

Easterday, who filed the lawsuit along with the Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation, claims the 2013 state law made it unlawful for decisions about gun ownership to be made at the local level.

"If you do it municipality by municipality, you'll get a patchwork," said Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association. "I could be here and be perfectly legal and walk across the street and be a criminal, and that's unfair to gun owners? It's unfair to any citizen."

The village of Deerfield issued a statement saying it will consider further options.





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