New Federal Challenge to Assault Weapons Ban

Could This Be The One?
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A federal lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Illinois challenging a Cook County ban on so-called “assault weapons” might be the kind of case worthy of Supreme Court review to determine whether modern semi-auto sporting rifles are protected by the Second Amendment.

A recently-filed federal lawsuit challenging a ban on so-called “assault weapons” just might be the complaint that makes its way through the court system to provide an opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether modern semiautomatic sporting rifles are protected by the Second Amendment.

The case is known as Viramontes v. Cook County.

Pro-rights advocates contend these are precisely the types of arms citizens would be expected to bring if they were called to some kind of militia service in a national emergency. So, it would make sense that they are protected.

This would be the “fourth leg on the stool,” in the vernacular of gun right advocates including Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), which brought the suit against Cook County and officials therein. SAF is joined by the Firearms Policy Coalition on behalf of three Cook County residents who want to keep and bear this type of firearm.

One of the other “legs” is the case now pending before the high court on right-to-carry, via the challenge of New York’s restrictive permit laws. That case will be heard Nov. 3.

Years prior, Cook County bureaucrats assembled a list of guns on the “ban” list. According to Gottlieb, whose organization has filed more than a half-dozen federal lawsuits in Illinois since its landmark victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago nullified the Windy City’s long-standing handgun ban, this list “looks like someone just scanned a bunch of scary-looking guns and added them to the roster.”

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Short History

Cook County’s ban has been around for years.

It began with passage of the “Blair Holt Assault Weapons Ban” which followed the death of a heroic 16-year-old who used his body to shield a classmate on a Chicago Transit Authority bus when a killer apparently looking to settle a gang score opened fire. A video of the shooting clearly shows Holt’s murderer using a handgun—not a semi-automatic rifle of any kind.

Modern sporting rifles, such as this Ruger semi-auto, are prohibited in Cook County. SAF and FPC are challenging that ban in federal court.

The ban levies fines of up to $10,000 and six months behind bars for anyone caught possessing one of the demonized guns. In 2013, Cook County commissioners made the law tougher.

The law was challenged and upheld by a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals panel in 2019. Last year the U.S. Supreme Court, before the arrival of Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett (who replaced the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg), declined to hear an appeal. That was then, this is now.

Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Christian D. Ambler of Stone & Johnson, CHTD in Chicago and David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and William V. Bergstrom with Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, Washington, D.C.

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Diamondback Firearms Unveils 'DB Sidekick'

The new Diamondback Sidekick revolver has Old West cosmetics but is a double-action .22-caliber revolver with cylinders for both .22 LR and .22 WMR.

Anybody remember the High Standard “Double Nine?”

It was a western-looking double-action revolver with a swing-out cylinder in .22 Long Rifle. When I was in my teens, I built a holster for one, for a guy in the Navy who took it with him to Southeast Asia where he served on a patrol gunboat. I don’t know what happened to the gun or the holster, but I hope they came home without a scratch.

The Double Nine was the first thing I thought about when Diamondback Firearms announced a new 9-shot single- and double-action revolver, also with a swing-out cylinder, but this sidearm comes with cylinders chambered for .22 LR and .22 WMR.

Diamondback’s entry weighs a reported 32.5 ounces. At this writing, I haven’t had a chance to handle one, but the concept for a rimfire wheelgun always made sense for anyone looking for a revolver with Old West styling but today’s quick reload capability.

According to the specs, the Sidekick has a blade front sight, integral rear sight, 4.5-inch barrel, zinc frame and handle finished with Black Cerakote, and checkered grip panels made from glass-filled nylon. The bore is cut with a 1:16-inch right hand twist with six lands and grooves. The OAL is 9.875 inches. There may be other barrel lengths available in the future.

This new handgun will be officially launched in November, according to a press release. The MSRP will reportedly be $320.

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Big 'Oops' in Oklahoma

Here’s an advisory to would-be robbers in Oklahoma: “Some intended victims are packing hardware.”

According to KOTV News, a 22-year-old suspect tried to rob a couple outside of an Oklahoma City theater in Bricktown. The suspect was armed, but one of the intended victims was too.

As reported by KOTV, the incident occurred about 10 p.m. Aug. 23. The intended victims were walking near the theater when the suspect approached. The 36-year-old armed citizen “turned the tables” and shot the suspect, apparently just before the theater crowd began emerging.

The armed citizen fired several shots, according to KOCO News. The suspect, identified as Travis Prince, died at the scene.

As reported by KOTV, Oklahoma City police officials said the city has seen “an uptick in homicides” over the summer months.

As it happens, Oklahoma City isn’t alone in this phenomenon, but it is a rare event when a would-be victim stops a suspect in the act.

In mid-2020, Oklahoma had more than 272,000 active carry permits, which are not necessary to carry within the state. There are likely even more in circulation now. Don’t forget anyone carrying peaceably without a permit, now a legal reality now in 20 states since Texas’ permitless carry law took effect Sept. 1.

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