Illinois Sheriffs Join Federal Lawsuits Against State’s Gun Prohibition

After several federal lawsuits have been consolidated, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association is now getting behind the movement to oppose the state’s gun prohibition. 

Back on January 10, 2023, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a gun and magazine ban. Under this gun control package, Illinois residents aren’t allowed to buy over 170 types of semi-automatic firearms and magazines over a certain number. 

Prior to the law’s signing, sheriffs across the state have voiced their opposition to it. Dozens of sheriffs have announced that they won’t enforce it.

“Many sheriffs across the state indicated their concern about this legislation passing and ultimately being signed into law and infringing upon the rights of those legal gun owners across the state,” Illinois Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Jim Kaitschuk said to The Center Square. “What the organization did is we filed an amicus brief in support of those efforts challenging House Bill 5471.”

Illinois sheriffs are jumping on the legal challenge against Illinois’ gun prohibition. 

“The ISA supports efforts to make Illinois and all of its citizens safe, but it also recognizes that those efforts must be within the bounds set by the Constitution. HB 5471 crosses those bounds, and in doing so, demands that sheriffs enforce a law that deprives the law-abiding citizens they serve of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, including sport and self-defense,” the lawsuit filing stated. “Because law enforcement should never be compelled to violate the constitutional rights of Illinois citizens, the ISA supports Plaintiffs’ action to enjoin the implementation of HB 5471 and to have the statute declared unconstitutional.”

Kaitschuk mentioned several parts of the law they’re worried about, which includes a requirement that gun owners register their firearms that are classified as “assault weapons” with Illinois State Police that they possess.

“Developing a registration program and limiting the type of weapons people could have in common use, so those were some of the concerns that they had,” he noted. “Even though there was an exemption provided for law enforcement, many of the sheriffs felt like how was a sheriff different than a general citizen and that was some of their concern.”

Illinois is an anti-gun bastion through and through. According to Guns & Ammo magazine’s rankings for best states for gun owners, Illinois found itself in a lousy  39th place. There’s no real way for gun owners to achieve reforms at the state level, so they’re only left with the options of using the courts and nullifying unconstitutional legislation. Those are the cards that gun owners in blue states have been dealt and they must adjust as needed.

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