Court rules AR-15s are not protected by the Second Amendment

November 5, 2023

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh District ruled Friday that AR-15s are not protected by the Second Amendment.

The three-judge panel's decision came in response to Illinois' so-called assault weapons ban in the case Barnett v. Raoul.

The explanation

"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,'" Breitbart News reported.

"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," it added.

The Illinois restrictions

"Illinois passed the sweeping ban on guns it classifies as assault weapons, as well as 15-round handgun magazines and 10-round long-gun magazines, after a shooter used an AR-15-style rifle to kill seven people at a Highland Park July 4 parade in 2022," WTTW reported.

"Since the Protect Illinois Communities Act was signed into law in January 2023, it has been illegal to buy or sell guns and accessories listed in the act," it continued.

The dissent

"The AR-15 is a civilian, not military, weapon," Judge Michael Brennan wrote in his dissent.

"No army in the world uses a service rifle that is only semiautomatic. Even so, the majority opinion uses a civilian firearm's military counterpart to determine whether it is an 'Arm,'" he noted.

The case is likely to be appealed, setting up a potential Supreme Court case to determine the future of the AR-15 among Americans.

The action in Illinois is also complicated by discussion by the state police seeking to allow those who already own banned weapons in the state to keep them so long as they are registered.

Other law enforcement officials have openly opposed the ban, causing conflict between the governor's push against certain firearms that many believe are government overreach and oppose the Second Amendment rights of Americans to bear arms.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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