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Attorney asks judge to strike down Illinois’ gun ban as ‘unconstitutionally vague’

He said the legislature lumped some firearms with AR platform guns incorrectly.

June 8, 2023 11:00pm

Updated: June 8, 2023 11:00pm

With the consolidated gun ban challenge being briefed and soon heard in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal, an Illinois attorney is asking a federal district judge for partial judgment.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted the ban on more than 170 semi-automatic firearms. The number of banned firearms increases depending on the different types of banned attachments. The law also bans the sale and possession of magazines over certain capacities.

Supporters of the law say it’s necessary to limit the proliferation of such firearms. Opponents argue the Second Amendment does not let governments ban commonly owned firearms.

Attorney Thomas Maag filed the first challenge in state court shortly after it was enacted. That was transferred to federal court and consolidated with three other cases. Southern District of Illinois federal Judge Stephen McGlynn issued a preliminary injunction against the ban in late April. Six days later, the injunction was stayed by an appellate court and the case was consolidated with similar challenges from the Northern District.

Maag said he’s now asking for McGlynn to issue a partial judgment that the law is too vague. He said the legislature lumped some firearms with AR platform guns incorrectly.

“These people at the legislature have no idea what they’re writing about and there’s no objective way to determine what is banned,” Maag told The Center Square. “If it’s unconstitutionally vague as alleged, the whole ban should fall.”

Maag said there are a couple of different outcomes possible, including dismissing the motion or striking the law down entirely.

“Depending on whether or not the state appealed that, it may render what’s in the Seventh Circuit now moot, it may not,” Maag said. “There’s a lot of options there.”

He said his latest motion is different from what’s in front of the appeals court.

“What's in the Seventh Circuit deals only with Second Amendment issues as opposed to due process vagueness issues and what’s in the Seventh Circuit also only deals with preliminary injunctions,” Maag said.

Maag said the state has until Monday to reply to the motion.

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