Illinois State Police

First Lawsuits Filed Against Illinois Assault Weapons Ban, With More to Come

More lawsuits are expected to be filed

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Opponents of Illinois’ new ban on assault weapons and extended magazines promised legal action, and at least one suit has already been filed against the measure in Effingham County.

This news comes as sheriffs in dozens of counties have said they will not comply with the weapon registration requirements found within the bill, and as gun rights groups like the Illinois State Rifle Association reiterate that they will fight all the way.

The first suit, filed on behalf of more than 860 plaintiffs, will be heard by a judge on Wednesday, seeking a temporary restraining order that would prevent the implementation of HB 5471, which passed the Illinois General Assembly earlier this month.

According to filing documents, former Republican attorney general candidate Thomas DeVore is on the legal team leading the charge against the bill in the Effingham suit.

“No longer can the citizens sit idly by while bureaucrats destroy the very foundational fabric of our great Republic,” DeVore said in a statement obtained by CapitolFax. “It’s an honor of my lifetime to play a role in representing the people against tyranny.”

Richard Pearson of the ISRA also says that the group will file its own suit.

“They said they would see us in court, and we accepted that challenge,” Richard Pearson said.

Pearson’s group will also seek a TRO to prohibit implementation of the legislation.

Another lawsuit was filed in Crawford County by attorney Thomas Maag. His suit alleges that the bill violates the Second Amendment right of citizens to bear arms, but it also goes a step further, alleging that the state violated Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and 14th Amendment rights of equal protection.

“My clients want to protect their rights, family rights and friends’ rights, and I think they have a very good case,” he said.

Maag says that he is encouraging residents to comply with the law until the legal actions have been taken through to completion, but says that he believes history is on their side.

Pritzker and other state Democrats have said they are confident the bill will stand up to legal scrutiny, but the road ahead will likely be full of litigation with plaintiffs and groups lining up to challenge it.

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