U.S. District Judge Stephen P. McGlynn apparently shares the views of many law-abiding American citizens. Specifically, there are already enough gun laws on the books that aren’t enforced, and there’s no need for more. For this reason, he issued a preliminary injunction against the Illinois “assault weapons” ban on Friday, April 28, 2023.
U.S. District Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Illinois “Assault Weapons” Ban
Judge McGlynn presided over Barnett v. Raoul, which consolidated numerous suits against the Illinois “assault weapons” ban. The ban, known as the Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA), was brought about following the attack on an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois (details below). Occurring just weeks after the SCOTUS issued its Bruen decision, Democrats used the attack to justify PICA.
In his decision, McGlynn acknowledged the attack, and the Democrats attempt to take advantage of it:
“As Americans, we have every reason to celebrate our rights and freedoms, especially on Independence Day. 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.’”
Appropriately, McGlynn pointed to Bruen in his decision to block enforcement of PICA until a ruling on its constitutionality is finalized:
“Amongst other things, the Bruen Court reaffirmed that ‘the right to “bear arms” refers to the right to “wear, bear, or carry…upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose…of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.”’ 142 S. Ct. at 2134 (quoting D.C. v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 584 (2008)).”
Likewise, he went on to say that the SCOTUS decision in Bruen states that “the Second Amendment protects the possession and use of weapons that are ‘in common use at the time.’”
McGlynn Suggests Enforcing Current Laws
Concluding his decision, McGlynn called attention to the fact that there are enough gun laws on the books. However, those laws are being ignored or diminished in severity. So, he suggests that Illinois look to enforce its current laws before trying to enact more:
“The Court recognizes that the issues with which it is confronted are highly contentious and provoke strong emotions. Again, the Court’s ruling today is not a final resolution of the merits of the cases. Nothing in this order prevents the State from confronting firearm-related violence.
“There is a wide array of civil and criminal laws that permit the commitment and prosecution of those who use or may use firearms to commit crimes. Law enforcement and prosecutors should take their obligations to enforce these laws seriously.
“Families and the public at large should report concerning behavior. Judges should exercise their prudent judgment in committing individuals that pose a threat to the public and imposing sentences that punish, not just lightly inconvenience, those guilty of firearm-related crimes.”
This really gets right to the heart of the issue. Law-abiding American citizens are punished for the crimes of a few, while criminals are “lightly inconvenienced” and walk free. So, while criminals become ever more emboldened, law-abiding citizens are being stripped of their Second Amendment rights. No country can survive this kind of lopsided justice.
Injunction Leads to Surge in Gun Sales
As you might have already guessed, the injunction led to an rapid surge in gun sales. In fact, immediately following the ruling, weekend crowds filled gun shops. One gun shop owner indicated that there was a line outside the door before he could open in the morning.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “Suburban gun shop owners were swamped with weekend crowds after a federal judge in the district court for the Southern District of Illinois issued an injunction Friday, blocking enforcement of the state’s January ban on military-style firearms.”
Some were just happy to enjoy their Second Amendment freedoms again:
“I’m fairly excited that I got my rights back,” Johnson said. “We live in the United States, we should follow the Constitution and be able to do what law-abiding citizens are able to do.”
Others expressed concerns over unsafe living conditions in Chicago:
“Living in Chicago raises obvious self-defense issues,” Eldridge said. “If somebody is ready to spend $250 and 16 hours of their time on a concealed carry class, that’s a pretty good indication that they do have some concerns about personal safety.”
Instead of paying attention to his constituents, Democratic Attorney General Kwame Raoul has filed an appeal to McGlynn’s ruling. Likewise, he has filed a motion in federal court to stop the ruling from going into effect, pending the outcome of the appeal.
Until that time, the people of Illinois are taking advantage of the injunction and buying what they can now. Proving once again, Democrats make the best gun salesmen.
On January 13, 2023, PDW reported:
Well, that was fast. As it turns out, the new “assault weapons” ban in Illinois isn’t too popular among law enforcement or state representatives. The ink was barely even dry on the document before they voiced their opposition. Although this legislation mostly affects point of sale, current owners of banned firearms are supposed to register them (story below). But it doesn’t look like anyone will be enforcing it in at least two counties.
Opposition to Illinois “Assault Weapons” Ban Turning to Defiance
Quickly after the bill was signed, Edwards County Sheriff Darby Boewe issued a statement. In the statement, he makes it clear that he will not be supporting the bill at all. Specifically, he states that it is a violation of the constitution.
“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 individuals that have been charged solely with non-compliance of this act,” a statement from Sheriff Darby issued on Wednesday and reported by WEVV News, says.
According to the WEVV report, a nearly identical statement was issued by the Wabash County Sheriff’s Office following Darby’s statement. The statement from Wabash County also opposes the bill and contains the same quote as above. Likewise, several other sheriffs in the area and around Illinois have issued similar statements.
Illinois State Representatives Chime In
The newly signed legislation did not sit well with members of the Illinois House or Senate either. Many called the legislation out for endangering Illinois citizens, highlighting that people who break the law are not going to register their firearms. However, some went on to openly defy the ban.
According to CBS News, Illinois State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) said, “We will not comply, and you’re not going to do a darn thing about it, because the law, the Constitution, and the founding principles are on our side.”
Likewise, outgoing Illinois State Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) tweeted a message of defiance:
It looks like this legislation is heading for an uphill battle, and many opponents are confident of a win. It may be a long road, but as long as the constitution is upheld, as it should be, this should be struck down forthwith.
On January 11, 2023, PDW reported:
You might have already seen the headlines. Four dead and three wounded in a rash of criminal shootings in Chicago on Monday alone. What is Gov. Pritzker’s answer? Does he address the growing epidemic of violent crime in his state? Nope. Instead, he is focusing on making it harder for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. To be specific, on Tuesday night, he signed an “assault weapons” ban in Illinois.
Illinois “Assault Weapons” Ban Signed Tuesday
Illinois becomes the ninth state to enact an “assault weapon” ban. The legislation bans the sale of supposed “military style weapons” and high capacity magazines in the state of Illinois. The legislation banning “assault weapons” passed the Illinois House in a 68 to 41 victory.
According to Fox2Now, “The ban took effect immediately, so it is now illegal to sell assault weapons in the Land of Lincoln. The legislation also caps the purchase of ammunition magazines at 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns. Rapid-fire devices, known as “switches,” are also banned because they turn firearms into fully automatic weapons.”
ABC News states, “Just hours after the legislation’s passage in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the “Protect Illinois Communities Act” into law during a ceremony at the State Capitol in Springfield. Supporters, some of whom were gun violence survivors, erupted with applause and cheers as the governor presented the signed document.”
Reports indicate that pending sales will still be processed, but only if the required background checks have already been started. Gun owners who have any of the firearms affected by the legislation may keep them. However, they must register them with the Illinois state police by the beginning of next year.
The Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) promises to fight the legislation in court, claiming it affects nearly 2.5 million legal firearm owners in the state.
ISRA executive director Richard A Pearson said in a statement Tuesday, “Challenge accepted. The Illinois State Rifle Association will see the State of Illinois in court.”
Firearms Effected by the Legislation
You can find the bill below, and the long list of firearms affected begins on page 84. It is too long to list here, and I recommend you take a look. Quite frankly, the list is so long that it’s quicker to look at what isn’t subject to the ban.
Specifically, the following are all that is still allowed:
- Any firearm that is an unserviceable firearm or has been made permanently inoperable.
- An antique firearm or a replica of an antique firearm.
- A firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action, unless the firearm is a shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
- Any air rifle as defined in Section 24.8-0.1 of this Code.
- Any handgun, as defined under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, unless otherwise listed in this Section.
What you’ll find on the list of now unacceptable firearms are pistols with threaded barrels, AR pistols, AR-10s, AR-15s, AKs, .50 cals, some shotguns, “high capacity” magazines, and much more. Likewise, many firearms are listed specifically by name in the legislation. To be honest, it’s pretty much a gun lover’s wish list.
Read the entire list here:
Fortunately, the Illinois State Rifle Association feels that this legislation will not pass constitutional muster and will be defeated. However, until that happens, Illinois residents are subject to it and are living at the whim of criminals. Until these myopic legislators decide to empower law enforcement to enforce current laws, things will continue to deteriorate.
But I wouldn’t count on that. They only care about dismantling the Second Amendment and disarming law-abiding citizens. All the while, they could care less about gangs and thugs like these guys:
Unfortunately, I feel things are only going to get worse for citizens in Chicago before they get better. If they ever do.