Ruling expected in Illinois’ assault weapon ban case

CHICAGO — A ruling is expected Friday on whether a temporary restraining order will be issued on Illinois’ assault weapon ban.

A downstate judge is expected to make the decision by the end of the day Friday.

This stems from an emergency hearing Wednesday in Effingham County.

A lawsuit filed claimed the new Illinois assault weapon ban was unconstitutional, specifically in the way lawmakers passed the law.

After hearing nearly two hours of arguments, Judge Josh Morrison said he needed more time to review before he made a ruling.

If he rules in favor of the argument presented in the lawsuit, a temporary restraining order on the ban would be issued.

The ban was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker on Jan. 10.

It was immediately met with pushback from gun rights groups who promised to fight the ban.

The ban prohibits the future sale of assault-style weapons and requires anyone who currently owns certain types of guns to register them with the state by January 2024.

It also puts caps on magazines and outlaws rapid-fire devices known as switches that can turn regular firearms into fully automatic weapons.

Over the past two weeks, several lawsuits have been filed fighting the new law: one in Crawford County, one in Effingham County and one at the federal level.

While two of the complaints argue the ban infringes on second amendment rights, as well as fourth and fifth amendment rights, the lawsuit filed it Effingham County took a different approach.

Illinois sheriffs have caused a stir over the law. More than 90 out of 102 county sheriffs have publicly stated that they won’t aggressively enforce the law. Pritzker and Raoul responded fervently, suggesting that if sheriffs don’t take action against illegal weapons, other law enforcement agencies will.

The sheriffs ardently believe the law violates the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment, but reaction to the pronouncements is overblown, according to the Illinois Sheriffs Association. The association explained that the statements mean that the sheriffs won’t search for the weapons or jail anyone charged only with non-registration until a judge orders it. With the registration deadline roughly a year away, it means little now.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Chicago News