Thursday, January 4, 2024

Illinois Federal Judge Denies Injunction Against New Gun Ban, Case Set for Appeal

A federal judge in the Southern District of Illinois recently rejected a request for a preliminary injunction against the new "assault weapons" ban in the state, which became effective January 1st.

The lawsuit, titled Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois v. Pritzker, was brought by a coalition including the Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois (FFLI), Guns Save Lives (GSL), Gun Owners of America (GOA), Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), Piasa Armory, and individuals Debra Clark, Jasmine Young, and Chris Moore. They sought an injunction from Judge Stephen P. McGlynn to halt the implementation of Governor JB Pritzker’s gun control legislation. This request follows a previous injunction by Judge McGlynn, which was later overturned by a panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

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The plaintiffs argued that the Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA) violates both the Second Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Their Fourteenth Amendment challenge was twofold: an "inadequate notice" claim and a vagueness argument, contending that the definition of "assault weapon" in the law is ambiguous and the process for registering such firearms and accessories is unclear.

The state, on the other hand, maintained that the plaintiffs were essentially seeking to overturn the Seventh Circuit's decision and argued that the notice provided, through a press release and a message on the FOID (Firearms Owner Identification) website, was sufficient.

Judge McGlynn found that while the Illinois State Police (ISP) could have done more to inform gun owners, they were not legally required to exceed the minimum effort they had already made. He also did not address the Second Amendment issues at this stage, focusing instead on the Fourteenth Amendment claims.

Ultimately, the Judge denied the motion for a preliminary injunction and granted the Government's Motion to Dismiss on the grounds of notice and vagueness, dismissing these claims without prejudice. This means that the plaintiffs can refile their motion in the future.

With the law now in effect, the plaintiffs are planning to appeal the judge's decision.

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