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Friedman v. City of Highland Park

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

September 18, 2014

ARIE S. FRIEDMAN, M.D. and THE ILLINOIS STATE RIFLE ASSOCIATION, Plaintiffs,
v.
THE CITY OF HIGHLAND PARK, Defendant

Page 896

For Arie S Friedman, Illinois State Rifle Association, Plaintiffs: Andrew Arthur Lothson, James Brian Vogts, Swanson, Martin & Bell, Chicago, IL; Brett Michael Henne, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, Libertyville, IL.

For City of Highland Park, Defendant: Christopher James Murdoch, LEAD ATTORNEY, Hart M. Passman, Steven M. Elrod, Holland & Knight, LLC, Chicago, IL; Christopher B. Wilson, LEAD ATTORNEY, Perkins Coie LLC, Chicago, IL.

For Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Amicus: Alexander David Marks, Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C., Chicago, IL.

Page 897

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOHN W. DARRAH, United States District Judge.

On June 24, 2013, the City of Highland Park (" Highland Park" ) passed an ordinance, prohibiting the possession, sale, or manufacture of certain types of weapons and large capacity magazines. On December 12, 2013, two days before the ordinance became effective, Plaintiffs Dr. Arie S. Friedman and the Illinois State Rifle Association (" ISRA" ) (collectively, " Plaintiffs" ) brought this action, seeking a determination by the Court that the ordinance is unconstitutional and an injunction barring its enforcement. Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction that was consolidated for trial on the issue of the issuance of a permanent injunction, set for October 27, 2014, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a)(2). The parties have also filed cross-motions for summary judgment and briefs in support of and in opposition thereto.

Page 898

BACKGROUND

Highland Park is a municipal corporation located in Lake County, Illinois. (Dkt. No. 42 ¶ 4.) Within Highland Park are fifteen schools, including Highland Park High School and numerous elementary schools, four community centers, and three nursing homes. (Dkt. No. 45 ¶ ¶ 21-22.) Additionally, Highland Park features multiple locations where large numbers of people frequently congregate, like the Ravinia Festival; the Port Clinton retail and office development; the Renaissance Place retail and residential development; and the Crossroads Shopping Center. ( Id. ¶ 23.) The City Council of Highland Park adopted Chapter 136 of the Highland Park City Code (the " Ordinance" ) based on the belief that certain designated weapons pose an undue threat to public safety. ( Id. ¶ 4.) The Ordinance was particularly intended to address the potential threat of mass shootings involving semi-automatic weapons like those in Aurora, Colorado (12 killed, 58 injured); Newtown, Connecticut (28 killed); Casas Adobes, Arizona (6 killed, 14 injured); and Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California (6 killed, 2 injured). ( Id. ¶ 9; Dkt. No. 44 at 3-4.)

The Ordinance provides that " [n]o person shall manufacture, sell, offer or display for sale, give, lend, transfer ownership of, acquire or possess any Assault Weapon or Large Capacity Magazine, unless expressly exempted in Section 136.006 of this Chapter." Highland Park, Ill., City Code § 136.005.[1] The Ordinance defines Assault Weapons as any of the following:

(1) A semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a Large Capacity Magazine detachable or otherwise and one or more of the following: (a) Only a pistol grip without a stock attached; (b) Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (c) A folding, telescoping or thumbhole stock; (d) A shroud attached to the barrel, or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the Firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel; or (e) A Muzzle Brake or Muzzle Compensator;
(2) A semiautomatic pistol or any semi-automatic rifle that has a fixed magazine, that has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of Ammunition;
(3) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a Detachable Magazine and has one or more of the following: (a) Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (b) A folding, telescoping or thumbhole stock; (c) A shroud attached to the barrel, or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the Firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel; (d) A Muzzle Brake or Muzzle Compensator; or (e) The capacity to accept a Detachable Magazine

Page 899

at some location outside of the pistol grip;
(4) A semiautomatic shotgun that has one or more of the following: (a) Only a pistol grip without a stock attached; (b) Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (c) A folding, telescoping or thumbhole stock; (d) A fixed magazine capacity in excess of five rounds; or (e) An ability to accept a Detachable Magazine;
(5) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder;
(6) Conversion kit, part or combination of parts, from which an Assault Weapon can be assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person . . . .

Id. § 136.001(C)(1)-(6).[2] Weapons made permanently inoperable and weapons " designed for Olympic target shooting events" are not Assault Weapons. Id. § 136.001(C)(7). The Ordinance goes on to define Large Capacity Magazines (" LCMs" ) as:

any Ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds, but shall not be construed to include the following: (1) A feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than ten rounds. (2) A 22 caliber tube Ammunition feeding device. (3) A tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action Firearm.

Id. § 136.001(G).

Violation of any provision of the Ordinance " is a misdemeanor, punishable by not more than six months imprisonment or a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1000, or both." Id. § 136.999. Officers, agents, or employees of any municipality or state or the United States, members of the United States Armed Forces or state militias, and peace officers are exempt from the Ordinance to the extent such a person " is otherwise authorized to acquire or possess an Assault Weapon and/or Large Capacity Magazine and does so while acting within the scope of his or her duties." Id. § 136.006(A). " Qualified retired law enforcement officers" [3] are likewise exempt from the ban. Id. § 136.006(B).

The Ordinance requires that any person who lawfully possessed any Assault Weapon or LCM is required within Sixty days of the effective date (December 14, 2013) to do one of the following:

(A) Remove the Assault Weapon or Large Capacity Magazine from within the limits of the City;
(B) Modify the Assault Weapon or Large Capacity Magazine either to render it permanently ...

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