Federal lawsuit filed over Illinois assault weapon ban
HERRIN, Ill. (KFVS) - Just eight days after Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation to ban assault weapons, the new law faces legal challenges at both the state and federal level.
A federal lawsuit filed in Illinois’ Southern District Court argues the assault weapons ban is unconstitutional.
“I think you’re just seeing a lot of politics and we’ll let the courts play it out,” Governor Pritzker said.
On Wednesday morning, he said that he believes the state law fits within the confines of what is constitutional and acceptable.
“The NRA said that they were going to challenge this in court because they couldn’t win in the legislature. Frankly, the vast majority of the people of the state supported assault weapons ban,” he said.
However, gun owners in counties throughout the state are challenging the new law.
The Illinois State Rifle Association filed it’s federal lawsuit in East St. Louis on Tuesday.
That association argues that “Illinois has prevented gun owners from keeping and bearing arms.”
The ban includes a wide variety of semi-automatic rifles, including the popular AR-15.
The lawsuit says, “semi automatic rifles traditionally have been widely accepted as lawful.”
The rifle association also wanted to make clear, “that semi automatic firearms, fire only one round for each pull of the trigger. They are not machine guns.”
“I do not, of course, condone anyone acting stupidly about it or irresponsibly or criminally. But there are millions of law-abiding people in the state of Illinois who don’t deserve to have their rights trampled even in the face of hoar and tragedy,” Attorney David Sigale said.
Sigale is representing the Illinois Rifle Association. He believes his case ultimately could end up before U.S. Supreme Court.
“On behalf of those groups, we’re bringing this on behalf of all those law abiding people in the state who just wish to have their rights vindicated,” Sigale said.
But Governor Pritzker believed that high-capacity semi-automatic weapons should be off the streets.
“We’re not taking anybody’s guns away, by the way, no guns are being confiscated under this law. We’re stopping the sale and future acquisition of these kinds of weapons,” Pritzker said.
Illinois is currently the 9th state to have an assault weapon ban.
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