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More than 1,000 plaintiffs, including Darren Bailey and 70 gun dealers, named in latest lawsuit challenging state gun ban

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SPRINGFIELD — Downstate attorney Thomas DeVore, who was defeated last year as the Republican Attorney General nominee, has filed a second lawsuit challenging Illinois’ recently enacted ban on high-power guns and high-capacity magazines.

The latest lawsuit, filed in Downstate White County, lists more than 1,000 plaintiffs, including former state senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey, and about 70 gun dealers. It claims the law violates the state constitution.

DeVore’s first lawsuit challenging the gun ban was filed in Effingham County, and last week a judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the ban against more than 850 people and a handful of gun dealers named in the lawsuit. bottom.

DeVore represented Bailey, who unsuccessfully contested Gov. JB Pritzker’s bid for reelection in November, in a 2020 lawsuit challenging Pritzker’s COVID-19 mitigation.

Gubernatorial Candidate Darren Bailey (Dark Blazer) and Illinois Attorney General Candidate Thomas DeVore at The Drake Hotel Oak Brook on November 7, 2022. Both are Republicans.

Also among the more than 1,000 plaintiffs in the White County lawsuit are two Republican state representatives, Adam Niemag of Dietrich and Blaine Willhour of Beecher City. A right-wing lawmaker from southeastern Illinois, known as the “Eastern Bloc”.

The new White County lawsuit employs essentially the same argument as the Effingham County lawsuit, that the gun ban violates the constitutional requirement to limit legislation to a single subject. On the final day of the General Assembly’s lame duck session earlier this month, lawmakers took up a bill originally on insurance and overwrote it with a weapons ban.

The White County and Effingham County lawsuits allege that the ban violated the state constitution’s due process and equal protection clauses.

Defendants in both cases are named Pritzker, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Senate Speaker Don Harmon, and Attorney General Kwame Raul, who won his reelection bid for DeBoer in November.

At an unrelated press conference in Decatur on Tuesday, Pritzker dismissed the latest lawsuit as “almost the same” and expressed confidence that the new law will ultimately remain in effect.

“These are people who belong to the ultra-minority among the nation, who are the ultra-minority when it comes to elected officials, and those who lose elections are the ones who could not win at the ballot box. They’re now taking it to state court and hoping to win a local judge,” Pritzker said.

“I think in the end we will lose. This is a constitutional law. It is in place in eight other states. It’s the ninth state to do so,” he said.

The lawsuit from White County and Effingham County is one of several legal challenges, including a federal lawsuit filed by the Illinois Rifle Association against the gun ban that Pritzker signed into law on January 10. am.

A hearing in the White County lawsuit is scheduled for Wednesday morning. He’s scheduled for a hearing in the Effingham County lawsuit on February 1.

Raoul’s office has appealed to the state court of appeals, challenging the Effingham County judge’s decision to temporarily block enforcement of the gun ban against the plaintiffs in the case.

jgorner@chicagotribun.com

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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