SPRINGFIELD - In a 4-3 ruling on Friday, the Illinois State Supreme Court issued a ruling that the state weapons ban was "constitutional."
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The ban was enacted after a deadly mass shooting in the Highland Park suburb of Chicago where seven people died and dozens were injured.
Governor JB Pritzker signed an assault weapons ban earlier this year.
This was what the Illinois Supreme Court found: "First, we hold the circuit court erroneously entered summary judgment for plaintiffs on their equal protection and special legislation claims. Plaintiffs are not similarly situated to the trained professionals. To the extent plaintiffs claim they possess restricted items, they are not treated differently from the grandfathered individuals.
"To the extent plaintiffs claim they do not possess restricted items, they are dissimilar to the grandfathered individuals, who have a reliance interest in retaining them. Second, we hold that plaintiffs waived any second amendment challenge to the restrictions, as the complaint did not state a claim and plaintiffs explicitly and repeatedly disclaimed any such argument in the circuit court. Third, we hold plaintiffs' failure to cross-appeal from the denial of relief under count II bars them from renewing their three-readings claim here. For these reasons, the judgment of the circuit court of Macon County is reversed."
The Illinois Supreme Court found the state's assault weapons ban constitutional Friday, overturning a lower court decision. The law bans dozens of types of rifles and handguns, 50 caliber guns, attachments and rapid-firing devices. The most popular gun targeted is the AR-15 rifle.
The first assault weapons ban law was challenged immediately after Pritzker signed it and it made its way to the state supreme court. The assault weapons ban will still face legal challenges in federal court.
The lawsuit filed by Republican Representative Dan Caulkins, from Decatur, and other gun owners like him alleges the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
“The majority opinion ignores the actual allegations of the challenge, rewrites a fictional version to serve a politically desired result,” Caulkins said. “The thrust of the lawsuit is that all citizens with FOID cards are similarly situated in terms of their enjoyment of Second Amendment Rights and the different treatment of FOID card holders does not survive Special Legislation or Equal Protection. This is more of a political decision than anything else. The truth is JB Pritzker spent millions in the last election cycle to ensure the outcome of cases just like this. In fact, the Justice writing the opinion for the majority received more than $1 million in funding from JB Pritzker. The ruling today is not the outcome I wanted, but it was sadly the outcome I anticipated.”
Caulkins noted the weapons ban has been in effect for about seven months, but little has changed in terms of violence in Illinois. In Chicago alone, there have been 367 homicides this year to date.
“What has changed with the passage of this law?” Caulkins said. “People are still being murdered. Violence is still happening. The only thing this law accomplishes is to give JB Pritzker something to use to curry favor with the far-left wing of the Democratic party that is so vital to would-be presidential candidates. Our Constitutional rights are being violated to help Governor Pritzker advance his political career. It is sad day in Illinois.”
Gov. Pritzker Issues Positive Comment About Supreme Court Decision
Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement in response to the Illinois Supreme Court ruling upholding the Protect Illinois Communities Act:
“I am pleased that the Illinois Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Protect Illinois Communities Act. This is a commonsense gun reform law to keep mass-killing machines off of our streets and out of our schools, malls, parks, and places of worship. Illinoisans deserve to feel safe in every corner of our state —whether they are attending a Fourth of July Parade or heading to work — and that’s precisely what the Protect Illinois Communities Act accomplishes. This decision is a win for advocates, survivors, and families alike because it preserves this nation-leading legislation to combat gun violence and save countless lives.”
Rep. Elik Statement on IL Supreme Court Ruling in Favor of Gun Ban
State Representative Amy Elik (R-Alton) issued the following statement after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to uphold legislation enforcing a gun ban in the state:
“I’m disappointed but not surprised in the ruling made by the Democrat majority on the Illinois Supreme Court. I appreciate the dissent by Justice Holder-White citing language concerning the constitutional requirement that a bill be read three days before its adoption. I voted against the firearm ban earlier this year because I support the Constitution. In the meantime, law-abiding gun owners including myself look forward to an opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court because our nation’s highest court will have the ultimate decision.”
Republican Sally Turner Issues Statement