(Reuters) – An affluent Chicago suburb has banned the possession, sale and manufacture of “assault weapons” and “large-capacity magazines” in response to the massacre at a Florida high school and other recent mass shootings in the United States.
Residents of Democratic-leaning Deerfield, located about 25 miles north of Chicago, have until June 13 to remove any firearms and magazines that fall outside the new restrictions or face a fine of between $250 and $1,000 per day, according to the ordinance passed by the town board on Monday night.
The ban quickly drew a legal challenge from gun-rights group Guns Save Life, with support from the National Rifle Association, on grounds it violated Americans’ Constitutional rights to own firearms.
The Deerfield ordinance said the ban was a direct response to the Feb. 14 killing of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the student-led campaign for tighter restrictions on guns inspired by the mass shooting.
“We hope that our local decision helps spur state and national leaders to take steps to make our communities safer,” Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal said in a statement.
The ban follows a similar 2013 measure enacted by the nearby suburb of Highland Park, located on Chicago’s North Shore, which withstood a challenge that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Opponents were quick to take issue with the ban.
“Every law-abiding villager of Deerfield has the right to protect themselves, their homes, and their loved ones with the firearm that best suits their needs,” Chris Cox, head of the NRA’s lobbying arm, said in a statement.
Opponents of the ban said they fear Deerfield will try to outlaw other firearms.
“First it’s going to be assault rifles. There will be new bans in the future. It’s just a matter of time,” Deerfield resident Larry Nordal told the Chicago Tribune. Nordal did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
The ban defines assault weapons as a range of firearms such as semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15, a gun similar to the one used in the Florida massacre. High-capacity magazines are defined as those holding more than 10 rounds.
Deerfield High School senior Ariella Kharasch, who supported the legislation, wants more action on local and national levels.
“This is our generation’s fight. We’re going to keep fighting and this is part of it,” Kharasch told the Chicago Tribune. “Change happens gradually step by step.”
(Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler)