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Judge issues restraining order against Illinois assault weapons ban

Gov. JB Pritzker signs a bill banning the sale and manufacture of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines on the Senate floor on January 10, 2023.

URBANA – Late Friday afternoon, a judge in Effingham County granted a temporary restraining order against the newly passed assault weapons ban in Illinois.

The ruling only affects 866 plaintiffs who sued to overturn the law. For the rest of the state, the ban on assault weapons remains in place until a court hearing on February 1.

The new law bans the manufacture, sale, and possession of dozens of rapid-fire rifles and pistols and some attachments.

Governor JB Pritzker signed the ban into law on January 10. In a statement to the media on Friday evening, Pritzker said “this decision is not surprising.” 

“Although disappointing, it is the initial result we’ve seen in many cases brought by plaintiffs whose goal is to advance ideology over public safety. We are well aware that this is only the first step in defending this important legislation. I remain confident that the courts will uphold the constitutionality of Illinois’ law, which aligns with the eight other states with similar laws and was written in collaboration with lawmakers, advocates, and legal experts,” said Pritzker in a statement.

On Wednesday, the Illinois State Rifle Association filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s newly enacted assault weapons ban, saying the week-old law violates the Second Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Another suit filed on Jan. 13 in Crawford County claims the law’s provisions requiring gun owners to register their assault weapons violate the Fifth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and that the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, including for self-defense.

Picture of Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director at Illinois Public Media. He oversees daily newscasts and online stories. He also manages The 21st Show, a live, weekday talk show that airs on 7 NPR stations throughout Illinois. He is the executive producer of IPM's annual environmental TV special "State of Change." And he is the co-creator of Illinois Soul, IPM's Black-focused audio service that launched in February 2024. Before arriving at IPM in 2019, he served as News Director at WKAR in East Lansing and spent 17 years as a TV news producer and manager at KXAS, the NBC-owned station in Dallas/Fort Worth. Reginald is the recipient of three Edward R. Murrow regional awards, seven regional Emmy awards, and multiple honors from the National Association of Black Journalists. Born in Vietnam, Reginald grew up in Colorado and is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

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