Semi-automatic weapons ban upheld by Illinois Supreme Court

Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 5:46 PM CDT
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MONROE COUNTY (KMOV) -- The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision Friday that the state’s ban on the possession and sale of semi-automatic weapons is constitutional.

Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing expressed disappointment in the supreme court’s decision.

“Right now we’re failing,” he said. “We’re failing the public.”

Rohlfing has been against the state’s decision to ban semi-automatic weapons since it was first proposed. The “Protect Our Communities Act” bans dozens of specific brands or types of rifles, handguns, and accessories. That includes 50-caliber guns, attachments and rapid-firing devices.

No rifle is allowed to accommodate more than 10 rounds, and for handguns, the limit is 15.

Rohlfing said people will find a way to get those guns whether they are legal or not.

“Most of those people do not go down to the local gun store and wait for the background check,” Rohlfing said. “They go down to the swap meet or they just go down to the high crime areas and they just ask and they get them.”

He said there needs to be more focus on mental health and support for people in crisis. John Janek, an Illinois resident for more than 70 years, said he is concerned about how the law is going to be regulated.

“The law-abiding citizens are always the ones hurt rather than the people who did the job of killing people,” Janek said.

People who already own the now-banned weapons, they are required to register them with the Illinois State Police by the first of next year. Rohlfing said the criminals who have these guns aren’t worried about registering them.

“There’s no illegal organization using these firearms that’s going to be standing in line registering them with the state police,” he said. “There’s none. All the gangs aren’t going to do it.”