Washington, D.C., May 8, 2018 - Following a vote by the Deerfield Town Council, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has joined as co-counsel to defend the town’s laws banning assault weapons from a set of lawsuits.

Deerfield’s Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved a ban on specific assault weapons and high-capacity magazines earlier this spring, prohibiting the possession, sale and manufacturing within the village. The Brady Center joins Perkins Coie and Holland & Knight as co-counsel, defending the township against lawsuits brought in opposition to the implementation of the ban, including one supported by the National Rifle Association.

“Time and time again, we’ve seen that ordinances like the ones Deerfield has put in place have been ruled as constitutional,” stated Jonathan Lowy, co-counsel and VP of Litigation at the Brady Center. “We believe Illinois law also permits it. Deerfield is well within its rights to ban dangerous assault weapons that have no place in their community. We look forward to defending these laws in court.”

Deerfield is currently facing two suits; the first, from the Illinois State Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Deerfield resident Daniel Easterday, asserts that the ordinance is preempted by Illinois state law as stated in the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Card Act and the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act.

The second, supported by the National Rifle Association and filed by Guns Save Life and Deerfield resident John William Wombacher III, contends that the law violates a guarantee under the Illinois Constitution that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. It further challenges the definition of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The Brady Center will defend Deerfield’s ordinance in both suits.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is dedicated to reducing gun injuries and deaths in America by stemming all of the causes of gun violence. Through its Legal Action Project, the Brady Center works in the courts to reform dangerous and reckless gun industry practices that give criminals and dangerous individuals access to guns. The Legal Action Project has won rulings in courts across the country holding that gun companies can be held accountable for shootings that result from their negligence, including in the Supreme Courts of Kansas, Indiana, and Alaska, and lower courts in New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, West Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. For more information about the Brady Center and its Legal Action Project, currently celebrating its twenty-fifth year, visit http://bradycenter.org/legalaction.

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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