Illinois court to rule on Cook County's assault-weapons ban

April 5, 2012

Associated Press

The Illinois Supreme Court is about to weigh in on whether it's constitutional for Cook County officials to ban assault weapons.

The county imposed the ban back in 1993. It has been upheld by trial courts and appeals courts.

But opponents think their case gained new strength when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Chicago ordinance banning handguns. They hope the state's high court will agree and toss out the ban on assault weapons.

The state Supreme Court is scheduled to announce its decision Thursday.

A key question is whether high-capacity, fast-firing weapons should be considered ordinary guns that get full Second Amendment protection or treated like machine guns and other special weapons that can be restricted.