SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — As more legal challenges to Illinois’ new semiautomatic weapons ban, the Illinois State Police is asking the courts to consolidate the federal lawsuits into one.

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.

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.

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.

On Thursday, Illinois State Police (ISP) filed a motion to consolidate three federal lawsuits, including one brought by the Illinois State Rifle Association.

“Consolidating the cases will prevent unnecessary duplication of litigation in four different cases, promoting judicial economy. And as each case is at the initial stages of litigation, no party will be prejudiced by the consolidation,” the ISP said in its motion.

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.

The gun ban is also facing legal challenges at the state level. Last Friday, a circuit court judge in Effingham County issued a temporary restraining order shielding 860 plaintiffs, including gun store owners, from the law.

The case will advance to a preliminary injunction hearing on February 1st.

Several other state-level lawsuits have been filed, challenging the