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On Monday, May 7, the Deerfield Village Board unanimously approved the pro bono services of both the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (the “Brady Center”) and Mr. Christopher Wilson, managing partner of the Chicago office of Perkins Coie (“Perkins”) to assist in the representation of the Village in the two lawsuits filed in the Lake County Circuit Court challenging the Village’s Assault Weapons Ordinance.
Village Attorney Steven Elrod of Holland & Knight will lead the team and supervise and coordinate the litigation strategy, but the bulk of the regular legal work will be undertaken by Brady Center and Perkins. This is the same legal team that successfully defended the City of Highland Park’s ordinance, on which the Village’s ordinance is modeled.
“I am pleased to announce that the vast majority of the cost of this litigation will be covered pro bono,” Mayor Harriet Rosenthal stated. “We remain confident in our authority to enact this ordinance under existing State law and gladly accept the expert services of the Brady Center and Perkins. These two firms, along with our own Village Attorney, Steve Elrod of Holland & Knight, will provide the Village with the highest quality legal services.”
The Village Board unanimously approved the Assault Weapons Ordinance on April 2. It bans the possession, sale and manufacture of assault weapons and large capacity magazines in the Village. On February 20, just days after the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, Mayor Rosenthal directed staff and the Village attorney to prepare a report concerning the implementation of a ban on assault weapons similar to that of Highland Park.
“Over four years ago, the state gave home rule communities a window of time to adopt some form of regulation of assault weapons, with the understanding it could be revisited at a later date,” Rosenthal said. “Our Board believes the time has now come to expand our regulation into a complete ban of assault weapons.”
Deerfield approved Ordinance O-13-24 on July 1, 2013, providing definitions of assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and requiring the safe storage and safe transportation of assault weapons in the Village. In the opinion of the Village Attorney, the adoption of ordinance O-13-24 on July 1, 2013, met the time window requirement included in the State of Illinois’ Firearm Concealed Carry Act. As a result, the Village preserved the right to amend the ordinance in the future.
“We hope that our local decision helps spur state and national leaders to take steps to make our communities safer,” Rosenthal said.
The Ordinance took effect April 13. Those with weapons in the Village prior to that date need to remove them from Village limits before June 13.
Please contact the Village Manager's office at 847.719.7400 with questions. You may also view our FAQ document for answers to frequently asked questions.