SPRINGFIELD — In the latest legal setback to Illinois’ sweeping gun ban, a downstate judge on Thursday named 1,000 people in a lawsuit, including former Republican candidate Gov. Darren Bailey and dozens of gun dealers. The law has been temporarily suspended against the above plaintiffs.
White County Judge T. Scott Webb ruled that the lawsuit was likely to succeed because the weapons ban would likely violate the Equal Protection Clause in the Illinois Constitution.
The decision mirrors a decision Tuesday by the state’s Fifth District Court of Appeals that upheld an Effingham County judge in a similar legal challenge. More than 850 plaintiffs in that lawsuit and a handful of gun dealers have also been granted temporary exemptions from the gun ban.
However, the Court of Appeals dismissed three other counts in the Effingham County case. This ruling was echoed by his Judge Webb in the White County case.
Three counts of action in the Effingham County case that were dismissed by the Court of Appeals were also dismissed by the White County judge.
Both lawsuits were filed by Attorney Thomas DeBoer. Attorney Thomas DeVore is a Republican who ran for Attorney General last year against incumbent Democratic Attorney General Kwame Raul. Lawsuit, with Harmon.
Pritzker and Raul have vowed to challenge legal challenges to the weapons ban, and Raul’s office said this week it will appeal the court’s decision to the state Supreme Court.
In addition to the county lawsuit, at least three federal lawsuits, including one from the Illinois Rifle Association, have challenged the ban and have been consolidated in the Southern Illinois District Court. Rather than challenging the gun ban on state constitutional grounds, these lawsuits argue that the law violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Similar to the Court of Appeals ruling, a judge in White County, a rural area of southeastern Illinois bordering Indiana, found the ban to be inconsistent, violating the constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. I decided that there was a high possibility that For example, active duty police and military personnel and prison wardens are exempt from the ban, but retired military personnel are not.
“As plaintiff pointed out in oral argument, it is unclear at best whether prison guards are required to serve prison sentences. Any Firearms training that may warrant exemption from the law,” Webb wrote in a page 11 ruling. “Additionally, while the law exempts active duty military personnel, it does not exempt veterans. there will be.”
In addition to Bailey, plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who have been temporarily released from obeying the law, include Republican Rep. Adam Nimagh of Dieterich and Blaine Willhour of Beecher City. Both were affiliated with Bailey during his time at the General Assembly as part of a far-right group of lawmakers from southeastern Illinois known as the “Eastern Bloc.”
“This is another victory for the Constitution and for honest firearms owners in Illinois,” Niemorg said in a statement Thursday. “We are removing this extreme law piece by piece, with each case making its way through our court system. This law will be overturned.”
The gun ban was spurred by a shooting at the Independence Day parade in Highland Park that left seven dead and dozens injured. The bill, signed by Pritzker just hours after it was passed, immediately bans the delivery, sale, importation and purchase of firearms, which the law designates as “assault weapons.”
Starting next year, anyone who owns a gun covered by the ban will have to register the gun with the state or face a misdemeanor for the first violation and a felony for subsequent violations. The law also immediately prohibits the delivery, sale, or purchase of large-capacity ammunition racks exceeding 10 rounds for longguns and 15 rounds for handguns.
After April 10, current owners will only be allowed to own high-capacity magazines at private residences, shooting ranges, sporting shooting competitions, or federally licensed gun stores for repairs. Violations will result in a fine of $1,000.
Also, devices called “switches” that speed up a firearm and turn it into a semi-automatic or automatic weapon will be banned immediately, and the owner will face felony charges for each device.
The new law also accelerates existing requirements for universal background checks on personal gun sales from January through July. and law enforcement to seek court-approved firearms restriction orders to keep guns out of dangerous hands, extending the duration of orders from six months to one year.