By Illinois Review
On Friday, the Illinois Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, ruled that the assault weapons ban does not violate the state constitution – dealing another blow to gun advocates across the state – and handing Gov. JB Prtizker another victory in court.
On January 26th, Illinois State Rep. Dan Caulkins filed a nearly identical lawsuit to the ones filed by attorney Thomas DeVore on January 17th challenging the constitutionality of the assault weapons ban, and named Gov. JB Pritzker, D, Attorney General Kwame Raoul, D, and Senate President Dan Harmon, D, as defendants.
On January 20th, Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison granted DeVore’s motion and halted Pritzker’s assault weapons ban effective immediately while the lawsuit proceeded.
DeVore’s lawsuits in total, represent over 7,000 plaintiffs and over 200 Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). By comparison, Illinois State Rep. Dan Caulkins, who filed a lawsuit identical to DeVore’s, is the only named plaintiff in his suit.
The lawsuits were based on alleged violations of the Illinois Constitution. One alleged violation is of the Equal Protection Clause, because the Assault Weapons Ban provides exemptions for certain groups – for instance, active and retired law enforcement are exempted from the ban, as well as active military and private security guards.
Retired military, however, much like the general population, are not exempted from the ban. DeVore argues that these exemptions create unconstitutional classes of citizens where legislators have decided who is subject to the ban and who is not.
On February 21st, Caulkins, Gov. JB Pritzker and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul requested that the Illinois Supreme Court consolidate the three cases brought by DeVore, but keep their case out of it.
And the Illinois Supreme Court did just that.
But on Friday, Caulkins’ case fell apart after the state Supreme Court ruled that the assault weapons ban was not unconstitutional with respect to his case.
However, a reading of the decision leaves room for the DeVore cases to proceed.
By Illinois Review