(The Center Square) – Despite the Illinois Supreme Court upholding Illinois’ gun and magazine ban in one challenge and a lower court dismissing another, an attorney says he will proceed with his case to strike the law down.
After an Effingham County judge dismissed consolidated challenges brought by attorney Thomas DeVore, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday proclaimed the gun and magazine ban is the law of the land.
“Our bill, our bill banning assault weapons is constitutional and it is in force in the state of Illinois right now,” Pritzker told reporters at the Illinois State Fair.
DeVore countered that with his interpretation of the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling last Friday in the case brought by state Rep. Dan Caulkins.
“I don’t agree with much of what Mr. Caulkins’ lawyers ever done on any of Dan’s case, but one of the things that [Caulkins attorney Jerry Stocks] and I do agree on is that the Supreme Court ruling didn’t say that this law is absolutely, under any set of facts, constitutional,” DeVore told WMAY. “It said that Dan failed to meet the burden.”
DeVore said he will collect the evidence needed to prove the law violates equal protections by carving out active and retired police and others in the law enforcement and security industries from having to comply with the law. Part of DeVore’s case includes efforts to get training data for various exempt classes and the communications between legislative leaders, the governor and associations.
DeVore said he will attempt to keep his challenges alive by first filing a motion to reconsider.
“Before we appeal, we’re at least going to put it back in front of [Effingham County Circuit Court Judge Douglas Jarman] and say ‘you need to take a look at this, it’s not what the Supreme Court said,” DeVore said.
Since February, DeVore was able to secure more than 7,000 temporary restraining orders for individuals and firearms dealers preventing the law from being enforced against them. With those now dissolved, some question what happens with firearms they bought during that time.
“Whether you’re exempt in the statute, or whether you were for some amount of time exempt under the law, which is a court order, co-equal branches of government, that TRO was just in force and effect as the exemptions in the statute,” DeVore said. “All of those people are in the same boat.”
DeVore’s position runs contrary to what Illinois State Police had previously said that firearms bought after the Jan. 10 implementation date can not be registered if the law is to be upheld.
The issue came up after the Southern Illinois federal courts issued a preliminary injunction on the law in late April that lasted six days before the state secured a stay on the injunction. During that time, thousands of people purchased banned firearms.
“If the purchase of a firearm or firearm attachment banned under [The Protect Illinois Communities Act] was initiated and completed between the date of the Southern District of Illinois’ Order on April 28, 2023, until the stay of such Order by the U.S. Appellate Court on May 4, 2023, the possession of such weapon will be unlawful beginning January 1, 2024,” ISP said.
ISP further said “any TROs entered in other actions are only applicable to the specific Plaintiffs and Defendants in those actions. More information will be forthcoming as additional rulings transpire through the state and federal courts and when the Illinois Supreme Court rules on the matter.”
Despite what happens in state-level challenges on equal protections charges, federal challenges that the law violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms are pending before an appeals court.