A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the State of Illinois’ ban on “assault weapons” and ruled AR-15s are “beyond protection under the Second Amendment.”

The panel, in a 2-1 decision, overturned a preliminary injunction against the ban previously issued by U.S. District Judge Stephen P. McGlynn, a Donald Trump appointee.

“The three judges were Ronald Reagan appointee Frank Easterbook, Bill Clinton appointee Diane P. Wood, and Donald Trump appointee Michael P. Brennan,” Breitbart reports.

Easterbrook and Wood voted to overturn the injunction.

More info about the ruling from Breitbart:


Easterbrook and Wood constituted the panel majority in overturning the injunction. They noted that Heller (2008) held, “[l]ike most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”

They went on to note that in Heller, the Supreme Court of the United States found that machine guns were not protected under the Second Amendment because they were not “bearable” arms, and that is “because they can be dedicated exclusively to military use.”

Easterbrook and Wood then focused on similarities they found between AR-15s and M16s, the latter of which can be fired in full-auto or three-round burst modes. They wrote:

The similarity between the AR-15 and the M16 only increases when we take into account how easy it is to modify the AR-15 by adding a “bump stock” (as the shooter in the 2017 Las Vegas event had done) or auto-sear to it, thereby making it, in essence, a fully automatic weapon. In a decision addressing a ban on bump stocks enacted by the Maryland legislature, another federal court found that bump-stock devices enable “rates of fire between 400 to 800 rounds per minute.”

They also noted that both guns use the same ammunition and “deliver the same kinetic energy.”

Judge Brennan dissented from the majority decision, stressing that the Illinois “assault weapons” ban fails if tested by Bruen (2022) because the ban has no historical precedent in American tradition.

Colion Noir provided additional information in this video report:

“The 7th Circuit seems to think AR-15s are not protected by the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court is going to have something to say about that one. ‘Shall not be infringed’ doesn’t have an asterisk,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) said.

Per Newsweek:

Illinois introduced the ban after seven people were killed and dozens more injured in the 2022 Highland Park July 4 parade mass shooting.

Opponents challenged the ban on the grounds that it violated the Second Amendment and Americans’ rights to “keep and bear arms.”

Renewed focus has fallen on assault weapons after an AR-15 was used in the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, in October that left 18 people dead and 13 injured.

The shooting in a state with limited firearm control laws ignited debate about gun violence in the U.S. The Gun Violence Archive said that as of November 5 there had been 590 mass shootings across the country this year.

As Noir and Boebert noted, the case, Bevis v. City of Naperville, will likely head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brennan wrote in the dissenting opinion:

“The Second Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear Arms” is not a second-class right. Yet the State of Illinois and several Illinois municipalities have categorically banned law-abiding citizens from keeping and bearing a sweeping range of firearms and magazines. In a remarkable conclusion, the majority opinion decides that these firearms are not “Arms” under the Second Amendment. Because the banned firearms and magazines warrant constitutional protection, and the government parties have failed to meet their burden to show that their bans are part of the history and tradition of firearms regulation, preliminary injunctions are justified against enforcement of the challenged laws. I respectfully dissent.”

Brennan added:

The AR-15 is a civilian, not military, weapon. No army in the world uses a service rifle that is only semiautomatic.15 Even so, the majority opinion uses a civilian firearm’s military counterpart to determine whether it is an “Arm.” But neither Heller nor Bruen draw a military/civilian line for the Second Amendment. Similarity between the AR-15 and the M16 should not be the basis on which to conclude that the AR-15 is not a weapon used in self-defense.

The majority opinion concludes that Heller limits the scope of “Arms” in the amendment to those not “dedicated to military use” and those possessed for a lawful purpose. Citing to “historical support” that “the Arms protected by the Second Amendment do not include weapons for the military,” the majority opinion focuses on Heller’s comment about the M16 rifle. 554 U.S. at 627. The AR-15 and the M16 are similar weapons, my colleagues conclude, which means the AR-15 is beyond protection under the Second Amendment.

Read the full ruling HERE.


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