Multiple lawsuits have been filed in Illinois challenging recently enacted gun legislation that bans certain firearms and high-capacity magazines in the state.
The law, signed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week, caps the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines, bans “switches” that allow handguns to fire rounds automatically and “extends the ability of courts to prevent dangerous individuals from possessing a gun through firearm restraining orders.”
A joint lawsuit that was filed in the Southern District of Illinois on Tuesday by multiple gun-rights groups, including the Illinois State Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation and Firearms Policy Coalition, argues that the ban infringes on citizens’ constitutional rights.
“Illinois lawmakers are scapegoating firearms and people who own them in a transparent attempt to convince people they are doing something about the horrible violence the state has suffered in recent years, especially in Chicago,” said Alan M. Gottlieb, the founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. “In reality, it’s an effort to distract the public from the fact that these same lawmakers have been unable or unwilling to crack down on criminals responsible for violent crime.”
Another lawsuit brought forth by plaintiffs from 87 Illinois counties that was filed in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court by Thomas DeVore, a former Republican nominee for Illinois attorney general, argues the ban violates the Illinois Constitution.
“No longer can the citizens sit idly by while bureaucrats destroy the very foundational fabric of our great Republic. It’s an honor of my lifetime to play a role in representing the People against tyranny,” a news release from DeVore’s law office said.
An emergency hearing concerning the case ended Wednesday with no action by the presiding judge. A ruling is expected Friday afternoon.
Both lawsuits seek to halt the enforcement of the law, which went into effect when Pritzker signed it.
Pritzker on Wednesday pushed back against the lawsuits, telling CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that he is confident the law will stand up in court because Illinois is the ninth state in the US to enact a so-called assault weapons ban.
“The fact that there are – have been challenges of other states’ assault weapons bans. We’re simply copying, frankly, what’s done in other states. In fact, ours is one of the most stringent but fits within the confines of what is constitutional and acceptable. Lots of scholars have said that about our law,” Pritzker said on “CNN This Morning.”
Pritzker also dismissed pledges by several sheriffs throughout the Prairie State to not enforce the new law as “a lot of political grandstanding.”
“They took an oath of office, though, to enforce the law,” Pritzker said. “When the law goes into effect, where someone is caught with a weapon that isn’t registered, they’ll enforce it. I mean, we have lots of law enforcement in the state of Illinois. Elected sheriffs are just one level of law enforcement. We have local state police, we have state police. Lots of folks who will hold people accountable. But these sheriffs know better. They know that their voters won’t stand for it if they’re not enforcing the law.”