By Maya Rhodan
December 7, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court will not take up a challenge to an Illinois assault weapons ban, according to orders released on Monday by the court.

The court denied a writ of certiorari to the case of Arie S. Friedman v. Highland Park, in which the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ban on the possession, sale, and manufacturing of many semiautomatic weapons, including high powered assault rifles in the Illinois town. In that case, the Circuit Court found that gun-owners still had a number of options on weapons they could use to protect themselves with the ban in place.

The lower court also said the ban helps the public feel safer given that many mass shooters, including the couple who recently carried out the attack in San Bernardino, Calif., use these types of weapons.

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Though the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear oral arguments on the case indicates they did not see a clear reason to challenge the Circuit Court’s ruling, two Justices–Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas–issued a dissent on that decision. Justice Thomas wrote that,”if a broad ban on firearms can be upheld based on conjecture that the public might feel safer (while being no safer at all), then the Second Amendment guarantees nothing.” Thomas also argued the appellant court decision was at odds with precedent on the issue of assault weapons bans and the Second Amendment.

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Read the full dissent here.

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