For the second day in a row, a state supreme court has delivered Second Amendment supporters a big win. On Wednesday, it was the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision opening the door for legal challenges to local gun control laws, and today the Illinois Supreme Court handed down a 6–0 opinion declaring Cook County’s tax on firearms and ammunition null and void.
This case has been winding its way through the state’s court system for several years, since shortly after Cook County imposed a tax on ammunition in 2015. Three years earlier the county had also put a $25 tax on each firearm sold, with the proceeds from both taxes slated to be used for “operations related to public safety.” There were no specific programs where the money would go, however, which played a big role in the state Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the taxes.
The court did note that Second Amendment rights were being implicated by the tax, but the justices were able to bypass actually ruling on whether or not the tax violated the right to keep and bear arms (and the associated right to acquire them) by basing their opinion on the “uniformity clause” of the state constitution, which declares that “in any law classifying the subjects or objects of non-property taxes or fees, the classes shall be reasonable and the subjects and objects within each class shall be taxed uniformly.”