A total of 10 states and Washington, D.C., have laws banning assault-style weapons. Illinois joined the list in January when Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill prohibiting the possession or sale of such firearms, as well as high-capacity magazines. The ban came six months after a mass shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb, killing seven people with a legally purchased semiautomatic weapon.
“This assault weapons ban is a step in the right direction,” Pritzker said at the time. “But there’s no magic fix, no single law that will end gun violence once and for all. So we must keep fighting, voting, and protesting to ensure that future generations will only have to read about massacres like Highland Park, Sandy Hook, and Uvalde in their history books.”
Gun rights advocates in Illinois sued to block the law, saying the measure violates their Second Amendment Rights. But the Supreme Court issued a one-sentence unsigned order on Wednesday declining to block the measure.
But the fight in Illinois is not over. There are six cases challenging the law working their way through the appeals process.
The Supreme Court also refused in January to block New York’s expanded gun restrictions, while the legal challenge to the law plays out. The decisions are not necessarily indications that the justices support gun control, however. The court ruled 6-3 in June to strike down a form of gun carry restriction that only six states use, dramatically expanding gun access nationwide. Instead, the New York and Illinois rulings are more likely a sign that the high court is giving lower courts more time to weigh the potential effects of the June ruling.
Meanwhile, the effects of increased gun access are wreaking havoc on the U.S. People are being shot just for approaching the wrong house. There have been 226 mass shootings since the start of the year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Many states have weakened gun restrictions, and violence soon follows.