While eyes are on the courts with lawsuits challenging Illinois’ gun ban working through the state and federal judiciary, one gun-rights group says it’s important to keep an eye on the statehouse.
At least three separate lawsuits have been filed challenging the gun and magazine ban and gun registry Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted last week. Lawmakers approved a ban on more than 170 semi-automatic guns they labeled as assault weapons. Owned guns before the law was enacted must be registered with Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024. The measure also bans future sales of magazines with more than 10 rounds for long guns and more than 15 rounds for handguns.
One lawsuit challenging the law was filed in Crawford County state court Tuesday.
Attorney Thomas DeVore was given an emergency hearing Wednesday for the case he filed in Effingham County state court the day before.
“We had argument for about two hours on the elements of whether the temporary restraining order would be an appropriate thing for the judge to do,” DeVore told The Center Square after Wednesday’s hearing. “Judge took it under advisement and said he will issue his opinion by the close of business on Friday.”
If the court grants temporary relief Friday, it’s expected to only impact the more than 860 people in DeVore’s lawsuit.
“We’re looking for a final ruling that invalidates this law on Illinois constitutional grounds, but in the short term, any injunctive relief would only relate to our particular clients,” DeVore said.
The Illinois State Rifle Association filed its legal challenge in the southern district of Illinois federal court late Tuesday.
“The federal lawsuit filed by the ISRA, other groups, and plaintiffs covers all Illinois residents and affected firearm-related businesses,” the group said in a statement Wednesday. “Our next step in the litigation is seeking an injunction at the earliest possible date.”
Before its case was filed, ISRA’s Ed Sullivan said resource coordination among the gun-rights community is going to be important. He also urged interested parties to not take their eyes off the state capitol.
“This won’t stop today just because we have this atrocious unconstitutional law,” Sullivan told The Center Square. “They’re going to try and enact more things that will take away our rights bit by bit and we know that’s the case, so ISRA will be on the ground in Springfield next week when we go back into session.”
Among other measures filed at the statehouse are separate bills to allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers and to require fingerprints of gun owners.