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U.S. Supreme Court dockets another challenge to Illinois’ gun ban

Illinois on Jan. 10 banned the possession and sale of more than 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines over certain capacities.

Published: November 30, 2023 11:00pm

(The Center Square) -

The U.S. Supreme Court now has another challenge against Illinois’ gun ban on its docket.

Illinois on Jan. 10 banned the possession and sale of more than 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines over certain capacities. A week later, lawsuits started to be filed challenging the constitutionality of the law. Cases are still pending in the district, appeals courts and now the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court docketed a case out of Naperville where plaintiffs challenged the city's and state’s gun and magazine ban. Plaintiffs are seeking an emergency appeal of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals three-judge panel ruling for the state.

“The court held that Plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the Act is likely unconstitutional … But as noted, the banned firearms and magazines are in common use for lawful purposes, and the Act is clearly unconstitutional under Heller and Bruen,” plaintiffs argued to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The plaintiffs then list other areas they argue the split three-judge appeals panel got it wrong. They said the majority incorrectly held that banned firearms are not arms, that the common use test is faulty, that the court misinterpreted recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent from New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, that the court’s decision “rests on stealth interest balancing,” and that an arm may be banned “because it is similar to a weapon formerly used by the military.”

“In summary, the Seventh Circuit’s decision was manifestly erroneous. In the meantime, Plaintiffs and hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Illinois citizens are suffering irreparable injury because their fundamental right to keep and bear arms is being infringed,” the plaintiffs argue. “Accordingly, Plaintiffs respectfully urge you to take up this case and grant the requested injunctive relief.”

A deadline for those in possession of a banned item to register with state police comes Jan. 1. Felony charges are possible for those found out of compliance.

Thursday, Justice Amy Coney Barrett ordered the state to respond to the plaintiffs motion by Dec. 6.

Dudley Brown with the National Association for Gun Rights broke the news in a post on X.

“That means it’s quite possible that the Supreme Court could intervene in that case and demand that they accept Bruen,” Brown said.

The Bruen precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court issued in 2022 requires any restrictions on the Second Amendment to comply with the text of the amendment and for there to be any similar gun control laws from the founding era.

The U.S. Supreme Court also recently docketed an appeal of the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling on a challenge brought by state Rep. Dan Caulkins raising questions of conflict of interest.

Before the Illinois Supreme Court heard the case earlier this year, Caulkins’ motioned for Justices Mary O’Brien and Elizabeth Rochford to recuse themselves because their campaigns for their seats received more than $1 million each from named defendants, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker, before the challenge was brought. The state has until Dec. 14 to respond to that motion.

In other challenges in federal court against Illinois' gun an magazine ban, plaintiffs from various cases are seeking a full panel review from the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. That request is still pending. In the Southern District of Illinois, federal Judge Stephen McGlynn is set to hear oral arguments Dec. 12 on a motion from plaintiffs seeking to enjoin the state from enforcing the Jan. 1 gun ban registration deadline while the case proceeds through the courts. McGlynn said he hopes to have a ruling on that before the Christmas Holiday.

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