The small village of Deerfield, Ill., and its recent decision to ban assault weapons is making headlines across the country. The measure makes it unlawful for any person to “carry, keep, bear, transport or possess an assault weapon,” with some narrow exceptions. The intent of the law, according to its authors, is to “increase the public’s sense of safety,” notwithstanding “potential objections regarding the availability of alternative weaponry or the enforceability of such a ban.”
Local lawmakers should enjoy the media spotlight while they can, because that’s about all the new law is worth. An assault weapons ban like Deerfield’s will almost certainly make no difference in reducing gun violence. And it’s probably unconstitutional; indeed, a lawsuit has already been filed against it.
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