One week after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation banning the future sale, import, manufacture and import of so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines” in the Prairie State, the Second Amendment Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the statute.
Joining SAF in this legal action are the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), Firearms Policy Coalition, C4 Gun Store LLC, Marengo Guns, Inc. and a private citizen, Dane Harrel. Named as defendants are Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly, and other officials in their official capacities. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
The case is known as Harrel v. Raoul.
“Once again,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “Illinois lawmakers are scapegoating firearms and people who own them in a transparent attempt to convince people they are doing something about the horrible violence the state has suffered in recent years, especially in Chicago. In reality, it’s an effort to distract the public from the fact that these same lawmakers have been unable or unwilling to crack down on criminals responsible for violent crime.”
This comes days after Pritzker became furious toward Illinois county sheriffs who have said they will not aggressively enforce the ban, according to Ammoland. Several sheriffs have signed what is essentially a form letter in which they state, “As the custodian of the jail and chief law enforcement official,” Sullivan said, “[I] proclaim that neither myself nor my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the State, nor will we be arresting or housing law-abiding gun individuals that have been arrested solely with non-compliance of this Act.”
Modern semiautomatic firearms banned under the new Illinois law have been deliberately mischaracterized as “assault weapons” and even “weapons of war,” Gottlieb explained in a news release. He called this patently dishonest and deceitful.
“Anti-gun politicians tout this sort of legislation,” Gottlieb observed, “while they know it really won’t accomplish anything beyond creating the false public impression they are making the community safer. No neighborhood, no city and no state ever became safer by restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens.”
A separate state-level lawsuit has also been filed against the ban, in the Circuit Court of the Fourth Judicial District in Effingham County by attorney Thomas DeVore, a former Republican candidate for the Illinois State Attorney General’s office.
This is not the first time SAF has taken Illinois to federal court. The most celebrated case involving SAF and ISRA was McDonald v. City of Chicago, which was a huge gun eights victory, nullifying the Chicago handgun ban and incorporating the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment.