Judge Grants Guns Save Life’s Motion to Block Deerfield Gun Ban

Yesterday proved a bad day for the Village of Deerfield, Illinois. A Lake County judge savaged the Village’s new gun ban ordinance, hours before its implementation was to take effect. In a 20-page decision, Judge Luis Berrones granted Guns Save Life‘s and the NRA-ILA’s motion for a temporary restraining order. What’s more, the decision proved a big defeat for the three law firms representing Deerfield.

The NRA-ILA trumpeted the win in a press release.

Temporary restraining order issued by circuit court bars enforcement of Deerfield ordinance 

The National Rifle Association scored a significant victory on behalf of law-abiding gun owners with the issuance of a temporary restraining order in the case of Guns Safe Life, Inc. v. Village of Deerfield. The temporary restraining order issued by the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court for Lake County, Illinois bars the Village of Deerfield’s enforcement of an ordinance that bans possession of certain firearms and prohibits possession of ammunition magazines that are standard for many of the nation’s most common handguns and rifles.

“The NRA-backed challenge to the Village of Deerfield ’s ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines has cleared its first hurdle in the legal process,” said Chris W. Cox, the executive director of NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “Deerfield’s ordinance violates Illinois law, and we are prepared to fight this anti-self defense ordinance until it’s overturned in court.”

“This ruling is a significant victory because it allows law-abiding Deerfield residents to keep commonly owned firearms and magazines in their homes for self-defense while the case proceeds,” said John Boch, Executive Director of Guns Save Life. “We are gratified by the court’s decision.”

Absent the temporary restraining order the ordinance would have gone into effect on June 13, 2018.

Guns Save Life filed the suit in April with support from the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. At the same time, money seems to be no object to the Village of Deerfield’s political leaders when it comes to their Quixotic quest to impose gun control upon residents and visitors.

The northern suburb has retained outside counsel to defend their flawed gun ban. They now have a high-priced Chicago law firm (with ties to the Clinton Foundation and Fusion GPS) representing them, along with the Brady Campaign. The Village also pays another Chicago law firm to represent them as well.

We covered some of their, uh, novel legal arguments earlier.

The defendants’ brief (click for .pdf) in opposition to our motion for injunctive relief argues the village’s ban on rifles is necessary “to protect the public health, safety and welfare.” Then they boldly cite criminal misuse of handguns as justification for their ban on scary-looking rifles.

Hard to believe, right? It’s true. They cite the South Carolina church killings and the attempted assassination of Gabby Giffords — both crimes committed with handguns — as reasons to ban rifles.

They also cited the Washington D.C. Naval Yard spree killing. There, a lunatic used a no-frills Mossberg 500 shotgun purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods to kill most of his victims. He also used a handgun stolen from a murdered security guard.

Yes, the Village argues that they need to ban rifles because of criminals who used handguns and shotguns to kill people. That’s some sound logic, right? Not so much.

Wait. It gets worse. The defendants’ brief also names two domestic Islamic terror attacks as reasons to ban guns in Deerfield. Yes, they actually cited the Islamic terror attacks in San Bernardino, CA and at the Orlando Pulse nightclub as justification for taking our guns. So because the U.S. Government can’t protect us from Islamic terror attacks, the Village of Deerfield should disarm law-abiding Americans?

The brief also cites the Sutherland Springs, Texas church massacre. At the same time, it fails to note that a good guy’s AR-15 stopped the killings.

But all those high-priced white shoe lawyers couldn’t block Guns Save Life’s motion for a temporary restraining order.   In the end, the judge found:

(1) The 2018 Ordinance is preempted by the FOIDCA and the FCCA and therefore unenforceable.  (2)  The 2018 Ordinance is a new ordnance (sic) and not an amendment of the 2013 Ordinance and is therefore preempted by FOIDCA and FCCA.  (3)  The 2018 Ordinance does not prohibit ownership or possession of large capacity magazines. …

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

1.  A temporary restraining order is issued enjoining the defendant Village of Deerfield, its agents, officials or police department from enforcing any provision of the 2018 Ordinance relating to the ownership, possession, storage or transportation of assault weapons or large capacity magazines within the Village of Deerfield.

Clearly, the judge found all manner of flaws in the Village’s so-called “amended” ordinance. If the judge’s preliminary findings hold, Deerfield will have a tough and expensive road ahead to keep their beloved ordinance.

Meanwhile, the Illinois State Rifle Association, with the support of the Second Amendment Foundation, has filed a similar suit against Deerfield. Like the Guns Save Life suit, the ISRA suit seeks to invalidate the Village’s “amended” ordinance banning guns based upon cosmetic appearances.

Judging by the SAF’s press release, it appears they got a similar ruling in the ISRA/SAF suit, too.

Guns Save Life looks forward to defending Deerfield gun owners’ right to defend themselves as this case winds its way through the courts. And GSL hopes ISRA and SAF continue with their suit because, well, as the old expression goes, two is one, and one is none.

Regardless of which suit permanently blocks this local gun ban in its tracks, job #1 remains stopping these gun-grabbing bigots.

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