Monday 1 May 2023

Federal judge issues injunction that temporarily blocks assault weapons ban in Illinois

 A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocked the enforcement of Illinois’ ban on so-called assault weapons and firearms with high-capacity magazines. The injunction lasts until a lawsuit challenging the law is resolved.

Judge Stephen P. McGlynn of the District Court for the Southern District of Illinois granted the injunction. McGlynn argued that the state law passed by Illinois, the Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA), will likely be declared unconstitutional when the lawsuit against its enforcement is resolved.

“Plaintiffs have satisfied their burden for a preliminary injunction,” wrote McGlynn. “They have shown irreparable harm with no adequate remedy at law, a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, that the public interest is in favor of the relief, and the balance of harm weighs in their favor.”

McGlynn wrote a 29-page opinion approving the injunction request. He acknowledged that the passage of PICA was precipitated by a mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, which resulted in seven deaths and left nearly 50 others injured. 

He then asked whether the “senseless crimes of a relative few be so despicable to justify the infringement of the constitutional rights of law-abiding individuals in hopes that such crimes will then abate or, at least, not be as horrific?”

“The simple answer at this stage in the proceedings is ‘likely no,'” he wrote.

McGlynn’s passage of the injunction came just one week after another federal judge, Lindsay C. Jenkins of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, reached an opposite conclusion and denied a motion to prevent the enforcement of the law.

State claims law consistent with historic tradition of gun control

Illinois’ proposed state law would have prohibited the manufacture, sale and possession of over 190 different types of firearms, as well as dozens of types of firearm grips, stocks and attachments, including large-capacity magazines.

McGlynn argued that, based on recent Supreme Court cases, the Illinois state government needed to prove that the firearms items being banned are not in “common use” and that they are the types of firearms that have a history and tradition of being regulated by the government.

The state argued that the law is consistent with historical tradition because neither assault weapons nor high-capacity magazines were in common use when the Second Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment were ratified.

But McGlynn countered that this argument was “bordering on the frivolous,” because the Second Amendment is not limited just to the types of firearms that existed when the amendment was ratified.

The judge noted that his ruling is not a final resolution of the case. But he did write that the state already has a wide array of laws that can be properly enforced to address concerns regarding gun violence.

He wrote: “There is a wide array of civil and criminal laws that permit the commitment and prosecution of those who use or may use firearms to commit crimes… Law enforcement and prosecutors should take their obligations to enforce these laws seriously. Families and the public at large should report concerning behavior. Judges should exercise their prudent judgment in committing individuals that pose a threat to the public and imposing sentences that punish, not just slightly inconvenience, those guilty of firearm-related crimes.”


Watch this clip from “The Record with Greta Van Susteren” on Newsmax as host Greta Van Susteren interviews Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms about how gun control advocates can’t agree on the proper definition of what an “assault weapon” is.

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