The new Illinois law banning so-called “assault weapons” remains blocked after a three-judge panel of the State Court of Appeals handed a setback to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul, upholding a temporary restraining order (TRO) against enactment of the state’s new gun control law banning so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines.”
As reported by WMAQ, the NBC affiliate in Chicago, this stems from a state-level lawsuit filed by Thomas DeVore and some 850 Illinois citizens, challenging the law. The trial court in Effingham County issued the TRO on Jan. 24. DeVore is a former candidate for state attorney general.
The Fifth District appeals court panel handed down the 2-1 ruling.
This is only one of several legal actions foiled against the law. Other challenges have been filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, including a lawsuit filed by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Illinois State Rifle Association and Firearms Policy Coalition. Another lawsuit involves the National Rifle Association.
According to Fox News, the appeals court ruling extends the TRO to the entire state. Raoul has indicated the state will appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.
In its ruling, the court observed, “Our analysis, however, is not complete without considering whether the ‘equities warrant the entry of such an order.’ This balancing analysis weighs the benefits of granting the injunction against the possible injury to the opposing party and its effect on the public interest. Here, weighing a fundamental right against potentially bruised egos or political pride is no contest. However, the effect on public interest is more challenging as we grapple with a fundamental right to bear and keep arms that allows plaintiffs to defend themselves or their families against a desire to protect the citizens of this state from the random atrocities associated with mass shootings. We hold no crystal ball allowing us to determine the likelihood of potential harm if the TRO is granted, but we temper our lack of prescience with recognition that both interests—whether through the regulation of firearms or through the fundamental right to keep and bear arms—are based on the increased desire to protect and defend loved ones in light of these horrifying and devastating shootings.”
In a related matter, SAF issued a news release Tuesday asserting the state had attempted “judge shopping” in its effort to have the federal lawsuits consolidated, only to have the effort apparently backfire.
According to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “We anticipated the cases would eventually be consolidated, but instead of winding up with a judge who the state hoped would be unfavorable to Second Amendment issues, I believe we now have an unbiased judge.”
“Illinois has to find a way to justify Pritzker’s gun ban, and the state cannot possibly do that because it is not consistent with historical tradition dating back to when the Constitution was ratified,” he added. “Pritzker and others like him believe the Second Amendment is a privilege, not a right. In reality, they think the Second Amendment is a loophole, and they are determined to seal it shut because citizen disarmament is really what this is all about.”