Another 1,690 plaintiffs sue over Illinois’ gun ban

(The Center Square) – Another challenge to Illinois’ gun ban from attorney Thomas DeVore has been filed, and this one has twice the number of plaintiffs.

Earlier this month, Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted a law banning the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms and magazine capacities. Gun stores were immediately prohibited from selling such items to anyone other than certain individuals like law enforcement. The law grandfathers in already owned guns and magazines, but guns have to be registered with Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024.

An Effingham County judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order preventing the state from enforcing the gun ban on 866 plaintiffs who sued, including several gun stores. With that TRO in place, the plaintiffs can buy and sell the more than 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines that were banned by the Legislature and Pritzker.

The docket for the case shows a “Notice of Interlocutory Appeal with the 5th Judicial Appellate Court” as Pritzker and legislative leaders promised.

Over the weekend, DeVore was signing on new plaintiffs for a separate yet similar challenge. He answered questions during a live video Sunday.

“How many plaintiffs in the second case? … I don’t want to give that away,” DeVore said. “I’m going to let the governor hang in suspense and he’ll find out … when we file this thing. I’m really pleased with the support because we’re going and we’re going to go off into federal court and we’re going to get the governor’s attention in a bigger way than we’ve already got.”

Monday, DeVore announced the second case was filed in White County where he has 1,690 plaintiffs, 62 of which are gun stores, spanning across 92 counties.

DeVore’s state-level case deals with the procedural way the law was passed and enacted, but does include an argument of equal protections of rights being violated as the law exempts active duty and retired law enforcement and others in the security and law enforcement sector.

“Really, what you guys are doing right now is hiring a lawyer to defend your rights that the attorney general of the state of Illinois [Kwame Raoul] should be defending for you,” DeVore said. “That’s really his job is to defend you. He’s not defending you. He’s defending the governor.”

Pritzker gave Raoul $1 million in his reelection campaign against DeVore in November.

Earlier this month, Raoul defended the gun ban.

“Once the legislature passes legislation and the governor attaches his signature to it, it’s the law of the land,” Raoul said.

A separate state-level case out of Crawford County challenges the gun ban and registry on several grounds, including the Second, Fifth and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. That has yet to have a hearing scheduled.

A federal case from the Illinois State Rifle Association has sent out summonses, but a hearing date has yet to be set. A separate federal court case is expected to be filed soon.

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