Illinois Supreme Court assault weapons ban draws responses from advocates and opponents

The Illinois Supreme Court voted 4-3 to uphold Illinois’ ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The ruling means that the ban will remain in effect pending litigation moving through the federal courts.

Both opponents and supporters of the law acknowledge that it is the United States Supreme Court that is likely to have the final word on the matter. Anyone owning one of the banned weapons prior to Jan. 10 will be allowed to keep it but will be required to register it with the Illinois State Police.

The law was passed in response to waves of mass shootings, including one at a 2022 Independence Day parade in Highland Park that left seven people dead and dozens more injured.

Gov. JB Pritzker called the measure a “commonsense gun reform law to keep mass-killing machines off of our streets and out of our schools, malls, parks, and places of worship.”  Guns are the leading cause of death for US children and teens since surpassing car accidents in 2020. Firearms accounted for nearly 19% of childhood deaths in 2021.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the firearm death rate in the United States is around five times greater than in the countries with the second and third highest death rates – France (2.2) and Switzerland (2.1).

The Commonwealth Fund reports that each year in the U.S., firearm-related injuries lead to roughly 30,000 inpatient hospital stays and 50,000 emergency room visits, generating more than $1 billion in initial medical costs. Medicaid and other public insurance programs absorbed most of these costs.

A link to the Commonwealth Fund report can be found below.

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