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Another federal judge denies request to block Illinois’ assault weapons ban

On Tuesday, April 25, 2023,  a federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois denied another attempt to block the state’s assault weapons ban while the law faces legal challenges. Earlier this month, the federal appeals court in Chicago also issued the same ruling and said the law was “constitutionally sound.”

“Getting weapons of war off our streets is common-sense reform,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. “A majority of people across this state and country are demanding that we take the necessary steps to protect people and our communities; this law does that. These recent court decisions are a win for Illinois.”

“Tuesday’s order is a victory for smart gun safety laws,” said State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, the sponsor of the law. “The Protect Illinois Communities Act bans the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, targets interstate gun trafficking, and expands red-flag laws – action we carefully crafted, knowing the gun lobby would sue to stop these public safety reforms. The NRA will continue its legal efforts to stop common-sense gun reform, and I, along with other advocates, will continue to fight to keep weapons of war off our streets to keep our communities safe.”

State lawmakers passed and Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Protect Illinois Communities Act in January. The law bans the sale of military-style weapons, high-capacity magazines, as well as the possession of rapid-fire devices that increase the firing rate of semiautomatic weapons. It also expedited the implementation of universal background checks.

“A second Federal judge, Lindsay Jenkins in the Northern District of Illinois, has just denied an effort by a Chicago plaintiff to enjoin the new Illinois law banning assault weapons and large capacity magazines,” said John Schmidt, a former U.S. Associate Attorney General and member of the Executive Board of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC. “Judge Jenkins agreed with Judge Virginia Kendal, who ruled in February in a separate case, that the ban on these extremely dangerous weapons is consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearms regulation.”  

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