Illinois Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban

In a recent decision that has stirred both acclaim and contention across political lines, the Illinois Supreme Court has upheld the state’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines. Earlier this year, Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-IL) challenged the constitutionality of the ban in his case “Caulkins v. Pritzker.” 

The court ruled that the ban is constitutional in a 4-3 ruling, which comes as a disappointment to those who argue for the protection of individual rights.

The majority opinion, authored by Judge Elizabeth Rochford, highlighted the distinction between trained professionals and average firearm owners. The court emphasized that individuals with a Firearm Owner’s Identification card are not necessarily trained professionals and may not be adequately prepared to handle firearms categorized as “assault weapons.”

The ban, signed into law by Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker in January, faced immediate legal challenges. Lawsuits were swiftly filed against it, reflecting the concerns of many citizens who believe in upholding their Second Amendment rights.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Stephen P. McGlynn issued a preliminary injunction against the ban, questioning the necessity of additional gun laws when numerous regulations were already in place. 

However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit intervened, temporarily halting McGlynn’s injunction. The case is now under review.

With the Supreme Court’s decision, people who are legal owners of guns and magazines that fall into the banned category may continue to keep them. However, the guns must be registered with authorities.

Critics argue that the decision oversimplifies the issue and fails to acknowledge the responsibility that law-abiding gun owners take in ensuring public safety. Many on the right believe that owning firearms is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Second Amendment, and this ruling raises concerns about the encroachment on those rights.

The gun ban put Illinois on the same track as states such as California, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Connecticut, Delaware and Washington. While registration of the guns that were already owned before the ban is required in Maryland, Washington, Delaware and Massachusetts, the rest do not mandate legal owners to register them with law enforcement.