Illinois Loses Appeal Over Latest “Assault Weapons” Ban, Keeping Restraining Order in Place
On January 31, 2023, Illinois lost an appeal following a lower court’s decision to issue a restraining order on a recently implemented prohibition on some semi-automatic rifles in addition to high-capacity magazines.
Back on January 10, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the gun control measure into law. This law prohibits the sale and distribution of so-called “assault weapons”, high-capacity magazines, and switches and went into effect upon receiving Pritzker’s signature.
Back on January 24, Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison issued a temporary restraining order against the ban, which prevented it from being enforced.
Morrison’s order came as a result of a lawsuit that four gun vendors and 850 individuals who argued that the law was enacted in an improper manner and did not receive adequate public input. The lawsuit also contended that the law violated the Illinois and US constitutions’ equal protection clause in how it granted exemptions to several groups of people based on their line of work or training. Fox News noted that individuals “who are active or retired law enforcement are excluded from the ban.”
Morrison spelled out in his ruling that the plaintiffs are “being immediately and irreparably harmed each day in which their fundamental right to bear arms is being denied.”
Following an appeal from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Illinois’ Fifth District appellate court ruled in a 2-to-1 decision that the temporary restraining order can be kept in place, and also broadened statewide. Before the ruling, the temporary restraining order was only applicable to the plaintiffs.
The ruling highlighted that the plaintiffs had a “a likelihood of success on the merits” with respect to their argument that the “assault weapons” ban infringed on the state and U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause.
Illinois gun owners have finally caught a break. According to Guns & Ammo magazine, Illinois is ranked in a sub-par 39th place for best states for gun owners. While it’s no California or New York, Illinois is one of the worst states for gun owners to legally exercise their right to bear arms.
It’s a Democratic ghetto as well, so no real changes to gun policy will be made anytime soon. At this point, Illinois residents will have to rely on the courts or have counties nullify state-level gun control to restore the right to bear arms. There’s no easy out of this conundrum.