SAF Challenges Illinois Gun Ban in Federal Court

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In a significant legal development, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), along with its partners, has petitioned for an en banc hearing in the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

This move challenges Illinois’ ban on so-called “assault weapons” and their magazines, escalating a pivotal case in the ongoing national debate over gun rights.

SAF Seeks Full Court Review in Seventh Circuit

Attorneys for SAF, in the consolidated cases of Harrel v. Raoul, Barnett v. Raoul, and Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois v. Raoul, have filed a petition for a rehearing before the full court.

This decision follows a controversial ruling by a three-judge panel, which SAF argues misinterprets the Supreme Court’s recent stance on the Second Amendment.

Controversy Over the ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban

The contested legislation in Illinois prohibits certain types of firearms and their magazines.

Alan M. Gottlieb, SAF founder and Executive Vice President, criticizes the appellate panel’s ruling.

He argues it disregards the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, wrongly categorizing modern semiautomatic rifles as outside Second Amendment protections.

“In our petition,” said Gottlieb, “we note how the three-judge appellate panel essentially thumbs its nose at the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bruen. Without explanation, the 2-1 appeals panel majority arbitrarily found that modern semiautomatic rifles are apparently not protected by the Second Amendment even though they clearly are protected, primarily because they are in common use and are not considered ‘dangerous or unusual’ arms. The three-judge panel opinion cannot be allowed to stand.”

SAF’s Standpoint on Second Amendment Rights

Adam Kraut, SAF’s Executive Director, emphasizes the importance of adhering to the Supreme Court’s rulings, voicing hope that the en banc panel will correct this perceived misinterpretation.

“Just because the appellate panel apparently disagrees with the Supreme Court on the Second Amendment,.” added Kraut, “they cannot simply reject the high court’s rulings and make up their own by subjectively determining all guns on the banned list are suitable only for military purposes and therefore are not protected by the Second Amendment. We’re hopeful a full en banc panel will correct this error.”


As this case progresses through the federal courts, it’s essential for those interested in 2A rights and gun legislation to stay informed.

The outcome of the SAF’s en banc petition could have significant implications for gun laws not only in Illinois but potentially across the United States. As always, stay tuned for updates.

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  • Punisher Six November 24, 2023, 11:14 am

    As of 11/22/2023, per ISP, compliance rate is 0.14%, not a typo. Zero point one four percent.

  • Ron November 24, 2023, 8:30 am

    Not sure if this is a good move by SAF. If the en banc panel holds up the appeals panel decision, it might give weight to a Supreme Court to decline to hear the case, which essentially means the Circuit Court decision stands. It seems to me, a better strategy would be to go directly to the SC. Or maybe that is not possible.

  • Kane November 20, 2023, 9:21 pm

    The scope of the un-Constitutional gun ban is far wider than admitted by IL authorities while the compliance rate of IL gun owners far lower than IL Governor Jay Bob claims.

    I remember how proud I was when America refused to learn the metric system, well this is way better.

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