Multiple Lawsuits, Scores of Sheriffs Challenge Illinois’ New Gun Law


A gun shop display is depicted in a stock photo.  (WTTW News)A gun shop display is depicted in a stock photo. (WTTW News)

The battle to enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act, the new law that includes a state ban on assault weapons, is set to escalate.

Several county sheriffs across the state have said they will not enforce it. On Friday, a circuit court judge in upstate Effingham County issued a temporary restraining order blocking the new law, though that ruling applies only to the 850 plaintiffs and four licensed arms dealers named in the case.

Former Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General Tom DeVore, who represents those plaintiffs and more than 1,600 others in a new complaint filed Monday, said the challenge to the law was not about the 2na Amendment, but rather procedural issues.

“To the extent that the 2na The amendment is involved, it’s a gun regulation, so it’s going to involve the 2na Changing federal case law at some point,” DeVore said. “But as far as the state court and Illinois constitutional arguments go, we are dealing with a couple of procedural reasons that the law was passed procedurally in violation of constitutional principles (Illinois.) And then we also bring up an equal protection argument on some of the exceptions that have been inserted into this law.

State Representative Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield), one of the new lawmakers, says he is confident the Effingham court ruling will be overturned.

“I think these claims have all been judged in the past. These are almost identical to the types of claims they had filed during COVID-19 that nearly all – indeed I believe all – have been dismissed by the courts,” Morgan said. “I think we are rehashing some of the same arguments about what the legislator should do and how. I am confident this will be reversed.

But DeVore took issue with Morgan’s characterization of the lawsuits.

“We shouldn’t be comparing apples to oranges,” DeVore said.

Morgan said legal challenges to the new law were inevitable and noted that the current restraining order blocking the law’s implementation applies only to DeVore’s clients.

“This is really a pretty limited sentence,” Morgan said. “The law went into effect immediately to ban the sale of these semi-automatic weapons, the sale of these high-capacity magazines. So this is in effect for nearly 13 million other people… There are a number of lawsuits that will be filed. It was always going to be like this. I don’t think anyone is surprised by that.

Dozens of Illinois county sheriffs have said they will refuse to enforce the new law arguing it is unconstitutional, drawing the ire of Governor JB Pritzker. But DeVore said it has always been within the discretion of sheriffs — as well as prosecutors — to determine their own law enforcement priorities.

“If a law enforcement official or prosecutor decides not to make something a priority, they will and may not be elected by the people they represent,” DeVore said. “It’s no different than when (Cook County State Attorney) Kim Foxx says she won’t charge a felony charge for anyone who doesn’t steal more than $1,000 dollars worth of merchandise, even if state law says $500 — it’s discretion.” of the prosecution. “

Note: This story will be updated with the video.


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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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