(WTVO) — Illinois’ assault weapons ban is facing its first federal lawsuit since becoming law just over a week ago.
The Illinois State Rifle Association has filed suit claiming the ban “infringes on the rights of law-abiding citizens” to possess such firearms and extended magazines “for the defense of self and family and other lawful purposes.”
The suit list Governor JB Pritzker, Senate President Don Harmon, House Speaker Chris Welch and Attorney General Kwame Raoul as defendants.
Attorney Thomas Devore also filed suit on behalf of gun dealer “Accuracy Firearms” in Effingham. He said that gun owners from 87 Illinois counties are also represented.
A number of Illinois county sheriffs from across the state called the law unconstitutional and said they would not enforce the ban, including sheriffs from Winnebago, Ogle, Stephenson, Lee, DeKalb and Boone.
The Protect Illinois Communities Act bans the future sale of about 100 different semi-automatic pistols, shotguns, and rifles because they are now considered assault weapons. Long-gun magazines with more than 10 rounds and handgun magazines with more than 15 rounds are also now illegal in Illinois.
Gun shop owners argue that true assault weapons–ones used by the military– are already illegal. They are automatic machine guns like the M16 and the AK47, which were banned by the federal government in 1986.
The new law now lumps all semiautomatic weapons like the AR-15 in with machine guns, which shop owners say has never been a fair comparison.
The law allows owners of certain semi-automatic guns to keep them but the weapons must be registered by Jan. 1, 2024. Violators can be charged with a Class 2 felony.