Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge on Semi-Automatic Weapon Ban

( – On July 2, the Supreme Court rejected a petition to hear six different cases that challenged the Illinois ban on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.

The ban prohibits Illinois residents from buying and owning guns, such as the AK-47 and AR-15, and high-capacity magazines, including those that hold more than 15 rounds for handguns and more than 10 rounds for long guns. The ban was voted into law in 2023 in response to the 2022 mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade. The July 2 ruling leaves the ban in place while lower courts continue to hear cases challenging the ban.

In a statement, Justice Clarence Thomas said the court is “rightly wary” of hearing the cases before the full Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has heard them. A three-judge panel for the Seventh Circuit has already rejected a request for a preliminary injunction against the ban. However, Thomas noted the issue is worth taking up later, stating, “We can – and should – review that decision once the cases reach a final judgment” if the Seventh Circuit allows the semi-automatic weapon ban to stand.

Thomas stated that the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case, the District of Columbia v. Heller, found “that the Second Amendment’s protection extends” to modern weapons. However, he noted that the guidance in that ruling “is far from a comprehensive framework for evaluating restrictions on types of weapons.”

Justice Samuel Alito was the only dissent in the 8-1 ruling, voting not to wait to take up the case.

In a post on Twitter, the National Association for Gun Rights executive director Hannah Hill responded to the decision, writing, “We will definitely be back.”

The Supreme Court also rejected hearing a challenge to a similar Maryland law because a federal appeals court has not yet ruled.

Illinois is one of 10 states that bans certain types of semi-automatic weapons.

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