City Orders Citizens To Give Up 'Assault Weapons' In City-Wide Ban
Deerfield, IL – The Deerfield Village Board ordered a ban on “assault weapons” on Monday night, and said they planned to implement a hefty fine on residents who refuse to comply.
The board unanimously voted to ban certain semi-automatic firearms, which they considered to be “assault weapons,” WLS reported.
The ordinance included semiautomatic rifles with fixed magazines capable of holding over 10 rounds of ammunition, and shotguns with revolving cylinders, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Rifles capable of accepting “large-capacity magazines” and a multitude of other features were also included in the ban, according to the paper.
The ban also hit some semiautomatic pistols, which primarily seemed to be targeting pistol variants of rifles and submachine guns. The ban covered pistols with off-hand gripping areas, barrel shrouds, or stocks.
"Large-capacity magazines" were defined as magazines that hold more than 10 bullets.
The amendment to the village’s gun ordinance also eradicated citizens’ rights to possess the magazines, WLS reported.
The board further declared that residents who refuse to comply with the ban will face a daily fine of up to $1,000.
Opponents of the ordinance argued that enacting the ban would actually leave the village less safe.
"You are the bureaucrats that Thomas Jefferson warned us about," Deerfield resident Dan Cox said. “Those that will strike away your rights, with the stroke of a pen.”
Resident James Smith agreed.
“This is oppression,” he told the board. “This is putting your thumb on people, and saying, ‘You are unworthy.’ This is bigotry.”
Resident Larry Nordahl cautioned that the ban was nothing more than a step towards future bans, according to the Deerfield Patch.
"First it's going to be assault rifles,” he warned. “Of course people who loath, hate, despise firearms are going to encourage new bans in the future. It's just a matter of time and the right political moment, the right political crisis."
Ninth-grader Cecilia Kowalik pointed out that the board’s decision to take weapons out of the hands of law-abiding citizens would do nothing to prevent criminals from causing harm to others.
"All too often we forget that criminals don't play by the rules,” she said. "These people are looking for populated groups with little to no protection, so this proposed ordinance will only serve to make us bigger targets and reduce the safety of the public in Deerfield."
Conversely, Deerfield High School student Ariella Kharasch thanked the board for their decision.
"This is our fight. This is our generation's fight, and we're going to keep fighting," she said.
Deerfield Village Manager Kent Street expressed hope that other areas of the country would follow Deerfield’s lead.
The ban is based off of a ban ordinance from Highland Park which survived a 2015 court battle that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"If Highland Park, if Deerfield, if more towns say no to this type of weapon, maybe the state of Illinois says no," he told WLS. "Maybe the federal government says no."
The board made one concession to the law, and said it would allow members of the military and retired law enforcement officers to retain their firearms, the Deerfield Patch reported.
The ban will go into effect June 13.