Judge blocks Illinois assault weapons ban

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News April 30, 2023

A federal judge in Illinois on Friday temporarily blocked the state’s assault weapons ban.

U.S. District Judge Stephen McGlynn, a Trump appointee, issued a preliminary injunction ruling that multiple plaintiffs who sued the state alleging that the law violates their Second Amendment rights have a “reasonable likelihood” to succeed in their argument.

Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA) into law in January. The law bans the sale and distribution of assault-style weapons, high capacity-magazines, and switches that convert handguns into assault-style firearms. The law categorizes more than 100 different types of rifles, shotguns, and pistols to be banned. Those who already own the weapons will not have to surrender them to authorities, but they will need to register them.

“The Supreme Court in Bruen and Heller held that citizens have a constitutional right to own and possess firearms and may use them for self-defense,” McGlynn wrote in his order. “PICA seems to be written in spite of the clear directives in Bruen and Heller, not in conformity with them.”

McGlynn noted that the assault weapons ban was passed following the shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois which killed seven and wounded dozens more. But he said the law does not appear to be consistent with the Bruen ruling.

“Can the senseless crimes of a relative few be so despicable to justify the infringement of the constitutional rights of law-abiding individuals in hopes that such crimes will then abate or, at least, not be as horrific? More specifically, can PICA be harmonized with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and with Bruen? That is the issue before this Court. The simple answer at this stage in the proceedings is ‘likely no,’” the judge said in the ruling.

On March 3, Macon County Judge Rodney Forbes declared the state’s gun ban and registry law unconstitutional. The state’s 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, a court higher than Forbes’s court, had already upheld a ruling that granted a temporary restraining order on the law, but due to Forbes’s ruling, the restraining order applied to the entire state.

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