Guns Save Life, Inc. v. Ali
Guns Save Life, Inc. v. Ali (Supreme Court of Illinois, Oct. 21, 2021): The Supreme Court of Illinois held that Cook County’s firearm and ammunition taxes are unconstitutional because the relationship between the tax classification and the use of the tax proceeds is not sufficiently tied to the county’s purported objective of lessening gun violence. The county passed an ordinance imposing a tax of $25 per firearm, later adding a tax on ammunition. The county argued that the taxes helped pay for costs associated with gun violence, such as prosecution, defense, and adjudication of gun crimes. The court unanimously held that the county failed to demonstrate a sufficient link to justify imposing a burden on “a fundamental right protected by the Second Amendment.” The court noted that the ordinance did not direct revenue generated from the tax to any fund specifically aimed at curbing gun violence. When a tax classification bears on a fundamental right, the government must show a closer tie between the tax and its intended funding. Read the full decision here.