SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — A judge taking on three federal lawsuits challenging Illinois’ semi-automatic weapons ban has ordered the state to show “each and every item banned” by the law.
Federal Judge Stephen McGlynn ordered that the guns be turned over for “illustrative examples of each and every item banned.”
Three federal lawsuits, including those filed by the National Rifle Association and the Illinois State Rifle Association, allege the ban contradicts the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“Because the ban is so all-encompassing and uses a great many vague terms that I’m not even sure what exactly what is banned, and that’s probably why judge McGlynn ordered the state to do that, so that we could find out what exactly we are arguing about,” Attorney Thomas Maag told The Center Square.
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the law on January 10th in response to the shooting deaths of seven at the Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, where 30 were also injured.
The law bans the sale or possession of more than 170 semi-automatic guns and requires current owners of the weapons to register with the state police by January 1st, 2024.
The 24 million AR-15 semiautomatic rifles in U.S. circulation far outnumber the 16 million Ford F-150 trucks, the nation’s top-selling vehicle, according to a lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association.
Proponents of the law have labeled the guns as “assault weapons,” but gun shop owners have argued that true assault weapons – those used by the U.S. military – are already illegal. They are fully automatic machine guns like the M16 and the AK47, which were banned by the federal government in 1986.
Guns are viewed far more favorably in central and southern Illinois where there are larger populations of hunters and sport shooters, compared to northern metropolitan areas, particularly Chicago, which continues to battle deadly handgun violence.
Many county sheriff’s across the state say they will not enforce the ban, as it conflicts with the 2nd, 5th, and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which grants citizens the right to bear arms, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to equal protection under the law.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed at both the state and the federal level. Several temporary restraining orders have been issued, shielding those who sued from being subject to the law.