Legal Challenges Begin Over New Illinois Gun Ban | CNN Politics


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 into law by Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker last week, limits the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines, bans “switches” that allow handguns to fire automatically, and “extends the ability of courts to prevent dangerous people from possess a weapon through firearms restraining orders.”

A class action lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Illinois on Tuesday by several gun rights groups, including the Illinois State Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Gun Policy Coalition, argues that the ban infringes the constitutional rights of citizens.

“Illinois lawmakers use firearms and the people who own them as scapegoats in a transparent attempt to convince people they are doing something about the horrific violence the state has suffered in recent years, especially in Chicago,” said Alan M. Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president. Chairman of the Second Amendment Foundation. “It’s actually 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 crimes.”

Another lawsuit brought by plaintiffs from 87 Illinois counties that was filed in the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court by Thomas DeVore, a former Republican candidate for Illinois attorney general, argues that the ban violates the Illinois Constitution.

“Citizens can no longer stand idly by while bureaucrats destroy the very fabric of our great Republic. It is the honor of my life to play a role in representing the people against tyranny,” said a news release from the DeVore law office.

The case had a hearing Wednesday morning.

Both lawsuits seek to stop the application of the law, which went into effect when Pritzker signed it.

Pritzker rejected the lawsuits on Wednesday, telling CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that he is confident the law will hold up in court because Illinois is the ninth US state to enact a so-called assault weapons ban.

“The fact that there have been… there have been challenges to other states’ assault weapons bans. We are just copying, frankly, what is done in other states. In fact, ours is one of the strictest, but it conforms to the limits of what is constitutional and acceptable. Many academics have said that about our law,” Pritzker said on “CNN This Morning.”

Pritzker also dismissed promises by various sheriffs across the Prairie State not to enforce the new law as “a lot of political swagger.”

“However, they took an oath to enforce the law,” Pritzker said. “When the law goes into effect, when someone is caught with a gun that is not registered, they will enforce it. I mean, we have a lot 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 people who will hold people accountable. But these bailiffs know better. They know their voters won’t stand for it if they don’t enforce the law.”

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