ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — State Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) said Wednesday that he believes the Illinois State Police should hold off enforcing the state’s new law banning 170 semi-automatic weapons until a number of legal challenges play out.
According to The Center Square, ISP said it has taken action against a gun shop business for “openly advertising the sale of banned weapons.”
Sosnowski told the outlet on Wednesday that the gun shop was located in Winnebago County.
“I only know of one incident that was in Winnebago County of a gun store that is undergoing some sort of enforcement or some sort of action by state police,” he said.
“It would be much better if the state police would hold off and let some of these legal proceedings play out,” Sosnowski said.
The Center Square reported that Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said the law is in effect “unless and until a court having jurisdiction applicable to Winnebago County finds the law unconstitutional,” and added, “As such, I have a legal and ethical obligation to enforce the law and will do so if necessary.”
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.
Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul have threatened to fire sheriffs who don’t enforce the law. “As are all law enforcement all across our state and they will in fact do their job or they won’t be in their job,” Pritzker said earlier last month.
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.
Several lawsuits have been filed against Illinois over the ban, and are proceeding through the judicial system. In the meantime, a judge granted a restraining order for 866 people who sued in Effingham County, temporarily protecting them from the ban.
Last week, Illinois State Police (ISP) filed a motion to consolidate three federal lawsuits, including one brought by the Illinois State Rifle Association.