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Illinois top court revives lawsuit over assault-weapon ban

Published April 5, 2012 12:10 pm

Ordinance • In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Chicago law that essentially banned handguns.
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • The Illinois Supreme Court says a legal challenge to an assault-weapon ban in the Chicago area can proceed even after two lower courts dismissed the case.

The 1993 Cook County ban on the sale or possession of assault weapons has been challenged by three residents who say they need the prohibited weapons for hunting, target shooting and personal protection.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down a Chicago ordinance that essentially banned handguns, saying the Second Amendment establishes a fundamental right to possess a handgun for self-defense.

In Thursday's unanimous ruling, Illinois' top court says a lower court should hear evidence on whether assault weapons get the same Second Amendment protection.

A trial and state appeals court earlier ruled the ban constitutional.