Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird is joining counterparts in 26 other states in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject what she calls Illinois’ unconstitutional ban on AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles. Bird calls the Illinois law “an outright assault on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says he always tries to “find a balance between AR-15s or any Second Amendment right and protecting the people.”

“The Supreme Court 15 years ago made it very clear that it gives utmost protection to most guns,” Grassley says. “Submachine guns would be an example that’s been outlawed for 90 years.” Grassley says it was a few years later that the nation’s high court made it a fundamental principle that applied to the states through the 14th Amendment.

“That doesn’t mean that states can’t outlaw certain things,” Grassley says. “I know that some states have done that, and I think that that’s a factor that you’ve got to take into consideration, that the states can do some of this themselves.”

Grassley says nobody who wants to hurt someone should have a gun, and he notes, that’s why we have background checks.

“States can, in 50 different ways, try to regulate guns but it’s got to be within the Supreme Court decision,” Grassley says. “So, Illinois can pass what they want to pass, but sometimes it’s going to be checked by the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court’s going to make that determination of constitutionality.”

Grassley says the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the U.S., with a recent poll showing more than 24-million Americans own one, or a comparable firearm.

Radio Iowa