District judge shoots down Illinois' 'assault weapons' ban with preliminary injunction

April 30, 2023
Ryan Ledendecker

Law-abiding gun owners in Illinois celebrated last week after a judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the Democrat-led legislature's "assault weapons" ban. 

According to Breitbart, U.S. District Judge Stephen P. McGlynn, a Trump-appointed judge, not only blocked the ban, but emphasized that there are many "gun control" laws already on the books that should be enforced.

The ruling came as a result of a lawsuit called Barnett v. Raoul, which is a consolidated lawsuit by a number of groups, including several Illinois counties, aiming to crush the ban, known as the "Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA)."

Opponents of gun control laws have long-argued that there are plenty of gun control laws that simply need to be enforced.

Citing precedent

Judge McGlynn pointed to the landmark Bruen case in the Supreme Court last year as his reasoning for issuing the temporary injunction until a final ruling on PICA's constitutionality can be determined.

He wrote:

Amongst other things, the Bruen Court reaffirmed that “the right to ‘bear arms’ refers to the right to ‘wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’” 142 S. Ct. at 2134 (quoting D.C. v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 584 (2008))

The judge noted that the high court:

…adopted a single step test “rooted in the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by history” under which the “government must affirmatively prove that its firearm regulation is part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.” … Under this framework, “the Second Amendment protects the possession and use of weapons that are ‘in common use at the time.’” Id. at 2128 (quoting Heller, 554 U.S. at 627).

In his final ruling, the judge noted there are "a wide array of civil and criminal laws that permit the commitment and prosecution of those who use or may use firearms to commit crimes. Law enforcement and prosecutors should take their obligations to enforce these laws seriously."

The new PICA law was signed by Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker in January, sparking intense backlash from red areas of the state.

Social media reacts

Gun owners and pro-Second Amendment advocates cheered the ruling across social media last week.

"A win for Illinois: 'More specifically, can PICA be harmonized with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and with Bruen? That is the issue before this Court. The simple answer at this stage in the proceedings is ‘likely no,’” McGlynn said," one Twitter user wrote.

Another Twitter user added: "This is a great win, and well-deserved. Congrats to all the plaintiffs and their attorneys on all these cases challenging PICA. Now it goes to the 7th Circuit I suppose. I expect they’ll stay the ruling, but hopefully hear the inevitable appeals quickly."

Only time will tell what the final ruling will be, but it looks like the plaintiffs in the suit are off to a great start.

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