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Illinois Gun Control Law Faces Its First Legal Challenge

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Illinois’ newly-enacted gun control law on sporting rifles will face its first legal challenge this week. 

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of over 800 plaintiffs in downstate Illinois, according to NBC Chicago, who argue that the law, HB 5471, violates the U.S. Constitution. An emergency hearing to block the law is scheduled for Wednesday:


An emergency hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. in Effingham County, as the suit seeks a temporary restraining order "to restore [the plaintiffs'] constitutional right to bear arms while this matter proceeds through the Courts," a press release from the law office representing the plaintiffs said.

Former Republican candidate for attorney general Thomas Devore is part of the legal team leading the lawsuit. 

“We will see Gov. Pritzker in court tomorrow,” DeVore tweeted Tuesday. "No longer can the citizens sit idly by while bureaucrats destroy the very foundational fabric of our great Republic. It’s an honor of my lifetime to play a role in representing the People against tyranny."

“The people came together, and as a result, citizens from 87 counties joined in this effort to defend their inalienable rights to bear arms and to further stand up against the tyrannical ways which their legislature and the Governor continue to pass legislation in violation of clear constitutional mandates,” the announcement from DeVore stated.


In addition, NBC Chicago reported that a second lawsuit was filed against the law. The lawsuit claims that the ban violates the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the 14th Amendment. 

Townhall covered earlier this month how Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the legislation, the “Protect Illinois Communities Act,”after it passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly. The law bans semi-automatic sporting rifles, as well as "high-capacity" magazines and “rapid-firing” devices.

“[For] too long people have lived in fear of being gunned down in schools, while worshipping, at celebrations or in their own front yards. This legislation will stop the spread of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches and make our state a safer place for all,” Prizker said in a statement. The ban impacts 2.5 million legal gun owners in the state.

Predictably, firearm sales spiked at some gun stores leading up to the gun control law. At Maxon Shooter’s Supplies in Des Plaines, Illinois, handgun sales doubled and rifle sales were 10 times what they were over the past year in the days leading up to the gun ban, according to the Chicago Sun-Times


“There’s been quite a rush of people trying to get in under the wire,” store owner Dan Eldridge told the outlet. “Obviously, the law-abiding gun owners are concerned. And they’re voting with their wallets.”

And, sheriffs in several parts of the state said that they will not enforce it. In public remarks, Pritzker threatened to fire them for doing so.

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