A federal appeals judge in Illinois has put a hold on a lower court judge’s ruling that blocked the state from enforcing its strict ban on some rifles and high-capacity magazines.
Appellate Judge Frank Easterbrook of the US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the temporary injunction issued Friday by District Judge Stephen Patrick McGlynn, who had said the law did not respect the Second Amendment rights of Illinois residents. Easterbrook’s ruling temporarily puts the gun control law back into effect as three federal lawsuits and a state lawsuit filed by gun owners and gun rights groups have challenged it on constitutional grounds.
The law, signed by Democratic Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker in January, includes penalties for anyone who, “Carries or possesses… Manufactures, sells, delivers, imports, or purchases any assault weapon or .50 caliber rifle.”
Those who legally possess a weapon under the law must register it with the Illinois State Police.
FEDERAL JUDGE GRANTS INJUNCTION TEMPORARILY BLOCKING ENFORCEMENT OF ILLINOIS GUN LAW
The law also includes statutory penalties for anyone who “sells, manufactures, delivers, imports, possesses, or purchases any assault weapon attachment or .50 caliber cartridge.”
Any kit or tools that are used to increase the fire rate of a semiautomatic weapon are also banned, and the legislation includes a limit for purchases from certain magazines.
McGlynn, a Trump appointee who sits in the Southern District of Illinois, blocked the state from enforcing the “assault weapons” ban Friday, finding it not only restricted the right to self-defense, but in some cases, “completely obliterated that right by criminalizing the purchase and the sale of more than 190 ‘arms.'”
His ruling followed two decisions by federal judges in Chicago in separate lawsuits who declined to issue injunctions against the law. One of those decisions, concerning a Naperville gun show owner challenging both local and state bans on so-called “assault weapons,” was affirmed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and is now being appealed to the US Supreme Court.
FEDERAL JUDGE DECLINES TO BLOCK ILLINOIS GUN LAW, CALLS ‘ASSAULT’ RIFLES ‘PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS’
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul asked the 7th Circuit to block McGlynn’s ruling, calling it “unprecedented” and pointing out it conflicts with the two other rulings issued earlier this year. State lawyers also argued McGlynn’s decision is “the only federal decision in the country” they are aware of “that enjoins restriction on assault weapons” under the Supreme Court’s precedent in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc., v. bruen.
In Bruen, the Supreme Court held that gun restrictions must be “consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”
Easterbrook’s decision was applauded by Democratic state Rep. Bob Morgan, who sponsored the gun control law in the sate House.
“We know the fight isn’t over– the gun lobby will continue to try and block any common sense efforts to keep assault weapons off our streets,” Morgan tweeted. “We aren’t backing down-this ruling only strengthens our resolve and confidence. Assault weapons are killing machines that have caused carnage in too many of our communities, & this law is a powerful step forward on the path to ending the devastating scourge of gun violence in IL.”
ILLINOIS ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN STILL IN EFFECT AFTER APPEALS COURT DENIES INJUNCTION
Gun Owners of America, one of the gun rights groups challenging the Illinois law, promised to continue fighting to have it overturned.
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“Frustratingly, the same judge who issued the foolish opinion which was overturned by the Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago has once again stepped in to enforce unconstitutional gun control. This is not the last laugh, and we are fully invested in ensuring this law GOA will continue to fight until lower courts, executives, and lawyers at all levels fall in line with the Bruen precedent,” GOA Senior Vice President Erich Pratt said.
Fox News’ Adam Sabes contributed to this report.