An Illinois judge on Friday issued a temporary injunction blocking the implementation of Illinois’ new gun control law against nearly 800 plaintiffs.
The law, signed by Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker last week at the start of his second term as governor, banning the sale of high-powered weapons magazines, banning “switches” that allow semiautomatic rifles to fire rounds and “expanding the ability of the courts to stop dangerous people from owning guns through restrictive laws gun.”
So-called switches that effectively convert a semiautomatic rifle into a semiautomatic rifle are already generally prohibited under federal gun laws.
The decision is limited to the plaintiffs – more than 800 residents of Illinois – in the case led by Thomas DeVore, the former Republican candidate for Illinois attorney general. The plaintiffs argued that the ban violated the Illinois Constitution.
Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison ruled that the law violated the plaintiffs’ rights and stopped the state from enacting a ban on the group.
The judge said in his ruling that the federal government did not meet the requirements for the law to “strictly enforce the requirements of the right to avoid unnecessary harm.”
“These laws will use a method to select who can be armed without consideration,” Morrison said. “Furthermore, due to the speed with which this law was passed, the impact of protected education would not have been considered, and the Legislature would have learned if this was the most restrictive way to achieve their goal.”
The office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, a Democrat, has filed an appeal and will ask the appeals court to reverse the ban, spokesman Jamey Dunn-Thomason said in a statement after the ruling.
Pritzker said Friday he is confident the courts will uphold the law regardless of the judge’s ruling.
“This idea is not surprising. Although disappointing, it is the first result we have seen in many cases brought by plaintiffs whose goal is to advance public safety concerns,” Pritzker said in a statement Friday.
“We are well aware that this is the first step in protecting this important law,” he continued. “I am confident that the courts will uphold Illinois’ laws, which are consistent with eight states that have similar laws and were written in consultation with lawmakers, attorneys and legal experts.”
The case is one of several that were quickly debated after the passage of the new gun law, which passed largely in the Democratic-controlled state legislature. One was filed in the Southern District of Illinois by several gun rights groups and the other was filed in Crawford County. Both are currently awaiting court dates.
Pritzker on Wednesday dismissed the charges, telling CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that he is confident the law will stand up in court because Illinois is the ninth state in the US to implement so-called assault weapons.
“What is there – there have been problems with banning weapons in other countries. We are just copying, in fact, what has happened in other countries. In fact, ours is one of the most difficult but it is in line with what is legal and acceptable. Many experts have said this about our laws, ” Pritzker said on “CNN This Morning.”
In recent months, Pritzker has endorsed more gun control laws in Illinois.
In May, Pritzker signed legislation banning the sale or possession of “ghost guns,” or suicide guns. It also ensures that all firearms are not mixed up for proper tracking by law enforcement.
And in June, Pritzker signed another bill calling for the Department of Health to launch a two-year gun awareness campaign.
This article has been updated with many other details.