Legal Battles Rise Against Illinois Assault Weapons Ban

Legal battles are building up against a new assault weapons ban in Illinois. Since January 10, when Governor JB Pritzker signed the “Protection of Illinois Communities Act” legislation, which prohibits the sale and distribution of assault weapons in Illinois, the new law has been plagued by a barrage of legal claims.

CBS News Chicago reported Wednesday that one of those lawsuits represents hundreds of plaintiffs from 87 counties. The attorney in the case, Thomas DeVore, a former Republican candidate for Illinois attorney general, argues that the ban violates the constitution’s equal protection clause and claims that the legislative process used to pass the ban was flawed.

Another was added to the mix Tuesday when a coalition of four gun rights groups, including the Illinois State Rifle Association, filed a federal lawsuit alleging the ban infringes on the rights of law-abiding citizens, according to court documents. .

“The 2nd Amendment is fundamentally about self-defense, and the 14th Amendment is about not having our rights infringed. This new law makes law-abiding citizens criminals,” said Richard Pearson, CEO of the Illinois State Rifle Association, in a statement.

CBS Chicago reported that a third lawsuit was filed in Crawford County last Friday.


In addition to banning the sale of assault weapons, the legislation limits sales of high-capacity ammunition magazines and “switches,” add-on parts that turn pistols into assault weapons. Those who already own guns on the prohibited list can keep them, but must register them within 300 days, the legislation says.

The new ban had been debated for years, but found renewed support after the Shooting at Highland Park 4th of July parade in which seven people were killed and dozens more injured.

While attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Pritzker said he is confident state and federal courts will uphold the bans.

However, sheriffs in several Illinois counties, including McHenry, Kankakee and DuPage, have already said they won’t enforce it, CBS Chicago reported.

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