State Supreme Court Upholds Illinois Assault Weapons Ban

The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the state’s bans on a number of commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms. The court victory for the states’ Democrats will allow Illinois to have one of the strictest gun control measures in the nation, at least for the time being.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed the “assault weapons” ban in January. Conservative organizations filed a number of lawsuits against the newly-enacted law. 

U.S. District Stephen P. McGlynn initially blocked the law with a preliminary injunction in April.

The judge wrote that the 2022 Bruen Supreme Court case affirmed that “the Second Amendment protects the possession and use of weapons that are ‘in common use at the time.'”

He further questioned whether “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?”

McGlynn also wrote that the state should enforce current gun laws rather than add a new one to the books.

Despite the action by McGlynn, another case brought by a Republican state representative made it to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In Caulkins v. Pritzker, the state’s supreme court overturned the decision of a county court decision by a 3-2 margin.

In Judge Elizabeth Rochford’s majority opinion, she wrote that those with a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) were not necessarily “trained professionals” who “undergo specialized firearms training pertaining to their employment to maintain their exempt status under the Act.”

The judge’s statement regarding FOID holders referenced a key provision in the plaintiffs’ lawsuit.

The struggle regarding the assault weapons ban may not end with the Illinois Supreme Court. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals may rule in favor of the earlier injunction filed by McGlynn and again block the implementation of the law.

Such a decision could then be further appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Should this occur, the fight regarding the state’s firearms restrictions could be a major test for the status of gun rights nationally.