Starting on Friday, January 13, opponents of the new law have filed lawsuits in State and federal courts to have the measure stayed and then struck down. The State-enacted measure is seen by constitutional lawyers as highly vulnerable to court action. The law purports to ban certain firearms and magazines, and would require the registration of a wide variety of firearms that are listed as so-called “assault weapons.” Action in the courts will continue, with the preliminary goal of staying enforcement of the law.
The new law is also being challenged by many leaders in law enforcement. At least 74 Illinois sheriffs have issued statements of opposition to the measure, including statements by many sheriffs that they will take no active steps to enforce the gun ban. The statements, which cover diverse jurisdictions throughout Illinois, reflect complete opposition to the law and express faith that it will soon be struck down in court. Illinois is the ninth state to take action to ban so-called “assault weapons,” although 41 U.S. states have refused to take such actions. The constitutionality of these bans has come under severe challenge in recent months. There are court pushbacks going on at this time against parallel gun laws enacted in other Democrat-aligned states.
The sections of the new Illinois law that ban certain types of gun magazines are seen as especially vulnerable to federal court challenge. The federal courts are bound, under the U.S. Constitution, to uphold the supremacy of the Second Amendment over all other laws. In Illinois House debate, proponents of the magazine ban could not point to case law upholding, with specificity, the validity of this type of prohibition. Despite warnings from Illinois House Republicans that the gun ban bill as a whole, and especially this section of it, was blatantly unconstitutional, the Democrats voted to pass the gun ban bill anyway. The controversial gun bill was enacted early in January 2023 by Democrats in the “lame duck” 102nd General Assembly.