Lawsuits against Illinois’ gun ban stack up as Pritzker expects months of wrangling

(The Center Square) – The latest legal challenge to Illinois’ gun ban has been filed and more are on the way.

When passing the ban on more than 170 semi-automatic guns and magazine capacities in the Illinois Senate earlier this month, Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, told opponents “we’ll see you in court.” Gun rights groups promised to file litigation and the lawsuits are stacking up.

Since Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted the ban, there have been a series of cases filed. Pritzker reacted to several filed cases in state court.

“We’re gonna have to play all this out in state courts for the next several months and there’s a federal case as well that’ll be carried out,” Pritzker said at an unrelated event in Decatur Tuesday.

One federal case was filed by the Illinois State Rifle Association last week. That case is pending. While summonses have been issued, no court date has been set.

Tuesday afternoon, the Illinois Gun Rights Alliance, a coalition of Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois representing gun stores, Guns Save Life and Gun Owners of America, filed a separate federal case in the Southern District of Illinois challenging the gun ban. Guns Save Life Executive Director John Boch said his group plans more than just one.

“Then we’re going to come back probably next week and file a suit about magazines, and attack that, and we’ll probably be back with follow up suits on parts and manufacturing and a whole host of other issues again in the coming weeks,” Bach told The Center Square. “We wanna keep the hits on rolling.”

Separately Friday, an Effingham County judge issued a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the law on behalf of 866 plaintiffs in a state-level case filed by attorney Thomas DeVore. The state’s appeal to that TRO has been accepted by the 5th Judicial Appellate Court.

Also, Monday, another state-level case was filed by DeVore with an emergency hearing set for Wednesday in White County.

Pritzker downplayed the temporary restraining order and legal filings. He said the lawsuits don’t represent the state.

“These are folks who were in the super minority among the public, super minority in terms of elected officials, people who lost elections,” Pritzker said.

Former state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, is one of the nearly 1,700 plaintiffs in the White County Case. While Bailey unsuccessfully challenged the governor in November’s election, he said he and the more than 2.4 million gun owners in Illinois will win this fight.

“People are mad, they’re angry, they’re frustrated, they’re finally realizing the importance of being involved in government and making sure that good people are elected to office,” Bailey told WMAY.

All together, there are at least five cases in state and federal court challenging the ban.

In a challenge of Naperville’s ban on certain semi-automatic weapons, the National Association of Gun Rights announced it has amended its lawsuit to include the state’s ban.

“We were already suing Naperville and Highland Park over their gun bans, so amending our complaint to put the state law at issue in our case against Naperville was a no-brainer,” said Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights.

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