Illinois gun ban faces federal appellate court

Firearms and Gun Ban

The controversial law, which many believes violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners, is facing a panel of Seventh Circuit appellate judges. Enacted by a “lame duck” session of the General Assembly in January 2023, the law contains provisions that purport to ban certain types of firearms, firearm fittings, and ammunition in Illinois. Most House Republicans voted against the gun ban bill as a violation of the state and federal Constitution. Gov. Pritzker quickly signed the partisan proposal into law. The gun ban law was then briefly halted by an injunction, citing constitutional grounds, handed down in April 2023 by federal District Court judge Stephen McGlynn. Judge McGlynn found that the Illinois law was so flawed that it would be unlikely to survive a court case. The current Seventh Circuit case is a consolidated appeal of Judge McGlynn’s decision and certain other cases filed against the controversial law.

Current federal case law, from the U.S. Supreme Court, directs the federal district courts and appellate courts to grant full standing to the Second Amendment rights of individual Americans. Longstanding principles of constitutional law forbid the breach of a constitutional right except in cases of urgent, compelling public interest.

Opponents of the 2023 Illinois gun law have presented evidence to the court that the law goes far beyond the requirements of compelling public interest. Friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed by multiple state Attorney Generals, Second Amendment advocacy groups, and law enforcement groups to encourage the appellate court to strike down the controversial law.

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