Gun Laws & Legislation

Illinois Plaintiffs Say Restrictive New Gun Law Is ‘Irreconcilable With The Traditions Of The American People’

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Bronson Winslow Second Amendment & Politics Reporter
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Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Illinois’ recently passed “assault weapons” ban filed a motion for preliminary injunction Wednesday, saying the “unconstitutional” law is “irreconcilable with the traditions of the American people,” according to court filings.

The plaintiffs in the initial lawsuit, to include a group of gun rights advocates, firearm retailers and a local residents, filed the motion, arguing that the Supreme Court’s decision in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen case “protects the possession and use of weapons that are in common use at the time,” according to the filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The Supreme Court’s June ruling, now commonly known as the Bruen decision, struck down New York’s concealed carry law and set a precedent that has been used to change laws and influence gun debates across the country, leading many states to readdress their laws.

“The Supreme Court has now repeatedly said that the Second Amendment ‘protects the possession and use of weapons that are in common use at the time.’ The firearms and magazines Illinois recently banned certainly qualify for protection under this standard. The firearms include many of the most commonly owned firearms in the country and the magazines are integral for the operation of common firearms,” the plaintiffs wrote in the motion.

The defendants in the case, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly and two county sheriffs, will be required to justify that the ban, signed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, is consistent with “historical tradition rooted at the time the Constitution was ratified,” Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb said in a release about the motion.

“They can’t possibly do so because the Bruen ruling clearly established there is no tradition of banning commonly possessed arms, and modern semi-auto rifles are owned by millions of citizens across the country,” Gottlieb continued.

The initial lawsuit was filed in January against HB 5471, which outlawed the sale, manufacture, possession and purchase of “assault-style” weapons, assault weapon attachments and .50 caliber cartridges, while also limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns. Republican representatives urged Democratic lawmakers to vote against the bill, saying it would penalize legal gun owners.

Two additional lawsuits were filed against HB 5471 within the first week of its passing. The first lawsuit, filed on behalf of 860 Effingham County residents and multiple firearm retailers, claims the law violates several constitutional rights, according to the lawsuit. (RELATED: ‘Blatantly Unconstitutional’: Another Lawsuit Filed Against Oregon Officials For Restrictive Gun Measure) 

The second lawsuit, filed by Crawford County residents, alleges that the law violates Second amendment rights but also violates the Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and Fourteenth Amendment rights of equal protection, according to the lawsuit.

“These are firearms in common use across the country for home and personal protection, hunting, competition, predator control, and an array of other legitimate uses, and the governor has no justifiable reason to ban their possession and use by law-abiding, peaceable Illinois citizens,” SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut said in the release.

Raoul did not immediately respond to the Daily News Foundation’s request for comment.

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