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Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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May 07, 2024

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 18 attorneys general, today filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit on behalf of Massachusetts, defending its commonsense gun safety laws from a Second Amendment challenge. In the brief, Raoul and the coalition urge the court to uphold the state’s decades-old ban on the sale and possession of assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines (LCMs). 

Massachusetts prohibits the sale and possession of LCMs, defined as ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and assault weapons.

“States should be able to protect residents and communities by upholding laws that restrict the sale and possession of assault weapons and large-capacity weapons,” Raoul said. “I will continue to collaborate with fellow attorneys general who prioritize public safety by defending commonsense gun safety measures.” 

Raoul and the coalition argue in the amicus brief that Massachusetts’ statutes are well within the country’s tradition of reasonable firearm regulations and that assault weapons and LCMs are not protected by the Second Amendment because they are not commonly used or suitable for self-defense. The brief also notes that states can and do impose restrictions on dangerous weapons, accessories and ammunition that pose a threat to communities. Additionally, Massachusetts’ assault weapons law is consistent with a historical tradition of states regulating and imposing restrictions on new and distinctively dangerous forms of weaponry.

Joining Raoul in filing today’s brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.