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Old October 22, 2021, 09:29 AM   #1
BobCat45
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Illinois Supreme Court tosses Cook County tax on guns

Looks like a 6-0 ruling that the Cook County tax on guns and ammo is a ""directly burden a law-abiding citizen's" second amendment right to buy the items for self-defense."

https://abc7chicago.com/cook-county-...guns/11153513/

Just a small win for "our side" but I could not let it pass unremarked.
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Old October 22, 2021, 10:11 AM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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Mildly encouraging, but technical.

Quote:
Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis wrote in a 6-0 decision that the taxes violate the constitution's uniformity clause. She noted revenue from the tax isn't directed toward funds or programs to curb the costs of gun violence or reduce the violence.
I expect the law to be rewritten so the funds from the tax get directed to "programs to curb the cost of gun violence." Then the citizens of Cook County will have to appeal on other grounds.
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Old October 22, 2021, 10:47 AM   #3
natman
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Yes, the decision was based on the technicality that the tax revenue was not directed specifically enough. However there are some bright spots in the decision:

¶ 28 We agree that the ordinances impose a burden on the exercise of a fundamental right protected by the second amendment. At its core, the second amendment protects the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms for self-defense in the home. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008). In McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, 778 (2010), the United States Supreme Court stated that “it is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty.” See also Johnson v. Department of State Police, 2020 IL 124213, ¶ 37 (“the second amendment right recognized in Heller is a personal liberty guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the fourteenth amendment” (citing McDonald, 561 U.S. at 791)). ¶

¶ 29 While the taxes do not directly burden a law-abiding citizen’s right to use a firearm for self-defense, they do directly burden a law-abiding citizen’s right to acquire a firearm and the necessary ammunition for self-defense. See Illinois Ass’n of Firearm Retailers v. City of Chicago, 961 F. Supp. 2d 928, 938 (2014) (noting that the acquisition of firearms is a fundamental prerequisite to legal gun ownership); Jackson v. City & County of San Francisco, 746 F.3d 953, 967 (9th Cir. 2014) (the right to possess a firearm for self-defense implies a corresponding right to acquire the ammunition necessary to use them for self-defense).


GUNS SAVE LIFE, INC v ZAHRA Page 8

One would hope that this language in the majority opinion would be enough to deter changing the destination of the tax revenue and forcing new litigation, but with anti-gunners there is no limit to what they'll do.
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Old October 22, 2021, 11:15 AM   #4
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Gentlemen you are quite right it was a "technicality" but the fact that the decision was unanimous suggests that the court is inclined against a minor re-write.

Thanks for the quotes natman; I was too inept to find and read the actual decision. It sounds like the court is taking the Second Amendment seriously.

Chicago is the tail that wags the dog. It is the antithesis of the rest of the state, and while it may be pie-in-the-sky to imagine that Cook County will just give up, they may decide to choose their battles more wisely and give it a rest.

But - it is a tax, so they will probably pursue it. I wonder if the people who paid $25 per gun purchased since the tax went into effect can get their money back from the County?
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Old October 23, 2021, 11:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobCat45
Gentlemen you are quite right it was a "technicality" but the fact that the decision was unanimous suggests that the court is inclined against a minor re-write.
I hope you are correct, but at least one of the judges on the Illinois Supreme Court doesn't agree. In a concurring opinion, Justice Michael Burke wrote that the majority’s analysis was flawed as it ignored a grave problem with the County’s proposed tax, stating, “the majority’s analysis wrongly leaves the door open for a municipality to enact a future tax on firearms or ammunition that is more narrowly tailored to the purpose of ameliorating the cost of gun violence. The only problem with that approach is that it would still violate the Illinois Constitution.”

See page 12 of the link provided above by natman.
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