Watch CBS News

Supreme Court won't block Illinois assault weapons ban while court challenge continues

Supreme Court won't block Illinois assault weapons ban while court challenge continues
Supreme Court won't block Illinois assault weapons ban while court challenge continues 00:20

CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court, for now, will not block a new Illinois law that prohibits the sale of certain semi-automatic guns and large-capacity magazines.

The high court on Wednesday denied an emergency request from people challenging the law, which bans so-called assault weapons. The law's opponents had asked the court to put the law on hold while a court challenge continues. The court did not comment and no justice publicly dissented.

The decision from Justice Amy Coney Barrett comes a day after the Illinois Supreme Court heard a separate challenge to the state's assault weapons ban on Tuesday.

The justices are considering putting a temporary hold on the legislation. The arguments in court focused on equal protection rights.

"How is the grandfather trained any better than the other layperson that wants the gun?" said attorney Jerry Stocks. "Mere possession is not training."

"Do you want more people to go out and get those weapons and go to parades and commit mass shootings?" said Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. "I don't and I don't think the legislature does either."

Hundreds of mothers were in Springfield on Tuesday to push for gun safety legislation. About 50 of the moms were from Chicago.

They boarded a bus at Union Station to meet the hundreds of other moms in Springfield. The group wants the state legislature to pass several bills that would require safe gun storage, prohibit convicted domestic violence abusers from owning a firearm, and hold the gun industry liable.

Meantime, a federal appeals court earlier this month reinstated the Illinois assault weapons ban, after a federal judge downstate had blocked the law.

On April 28, U.S. District Judge Stephen McGlynn in East St. Louis issued a 29-page injunction ruling the ban was unconstitutional – because it restricted a person's right to defend themselves.

On May 4, the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals put a hold on that injunction.

This means the law will be allowed to go into effect while the case is reviewed by the Appeals Court.

Gov. JB Pritzker has always stood behind the ban saying it will hold up in court. Experts say it's not a slam dunk for either side, and ultimately this will go to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

"It's going to be a situation where we're going to all just have to sit back and wait because these lower courts aren't going to decide this case," CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller said last month. "It's going to be the High Court of the land, and that's that. Frankly, that's where it should be." 

Miller says nothing goes quickly when it comes to the legal process, but he expects this could be filed with the Supreme Court within the next several months and possibly decided within a year. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.