Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Assault Weapon Ban


The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a recent state ban on assault weapons is constitutional.

Friday’s ruling overturns a lower court decision trying to stop the assault weapons ban after Gov. JB Pritzker (D) enacted it earlier this year.

In a lawsuit in response to the ban, Republican Rep. Dan Caulkins argued that the new law violated the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In a 4-3 decisionthe Supreme Court ruled against Caulkins.

“First, we believe that the exemptions neither deny equal protection nor constitute special legislation because plaintiffs have not sufficiently argued that they are similar to the exempt groups and are treated differently,” the decision reads in part.

The new law bans dozens of types of rifles — including the AR-15 — as well as attachments and rapid-fire devices. The ban was enacted after a fatal shooting in a Chicago suburb in 2022, in which a gunman fired more than 70 shots into a crowd on a rooftop, killing seven people.

The shooter was able to legally acquire the AR-15 rifle he used in the mass shooting.

“No Illinoisan, regardless of zip code, should live in fear that their loved one might be the next in an ever-growing list of mass shooting victims.” Pritzker said in a statement when the ban was passed in January. “However, for too long people have lived in fear of being shot in schools, at church, at celebrations or in their own front yards.”

The ban still faces legal challenges in federal courtwhere several lawsuits against constitutionality await hearing.

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