A group of gun owners, retailers, and a national trade organization for the firearms industry have come together to file a federal lawsuit arguing the new "assault weapon" ban in the Land of Lincoln violates the right to keep and bear arms.
The 27-page suit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, names state Attorney General Kwame Raoul and the director of the Illinois State Police, Brendan Kelly, as plaintiffs. It was brought by two individuals who own now-restricted firearms, two gun stores, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
"The Illinois gun ban law is an overreaching attempt to deny law-abiding Americans their fundamental and Constitutionally-protected Second Amendment rights,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF's Senior Vice President and General Counsel in a statement emailed to Guns.com. "The U.S. Supreme Court has already recognized that semiautomatic rifles ‘traditionally have been widely accepted as lawful,’ and with over 24 million of these rifles in circulation today, they are clearly commonly owned for lawful purposes, meeting the threshold set by the Supreme Court in its Heller decision. Semiautomatic handguns are overwhelmingly the choice of firearm for personal self-defense."
Keane pointed out that, going much further back than the AR-15s of today, the type of technology banned by the Democrat-controlled Illinois state legislature has been around for generations. For instance, the semi-auto Mannlicher Model 85 was designed in 1885 while Winchester introduced the Model 1903 while Teddy Roosevelt was President. Detachable box magazines first saw the light of day with the Jarre harmonica pistol of 1862 decades before they achieved commercial success with the "Broom handle" Mauser in 1896.
"This law is clearly unconstitutional and does nothing to punish the criminal," said Keane. "It only deprives law-abiding Americans of being able to exercise their full spectrum of Second Amendment rights."
The case is Barnett et.al. vs Raoul.
Going past the lawsuit, more than six dozen sheriffs in the state have come out in public opposition to HB 5471, which was passed largely along party lines inside a gutted proposal to regulate insurance adjusters. Gov. JB Pritzker, a Democrat who was backed for office by former President Obama and a host of national anti-gun groups, signed the ban into law just minutes after it cleared the state legislature.
Banner image: S&W M&P15 rifles, common semi-auto carbines that are widely sold and are now extensively regulated under Illinois law, at Smith & Wesson's factory. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)