Illinois assault weapons ban back in effect after ruling by federal appeals judge in Chicago

In the ever cyclic on-again off-again way that these cases go, the Illinois Assault Weapon Ban implemented by PICA has been reinstated as it goes through its next phase of litigation.

Appellate Judge Frank Easterbrook agreed Thursday to stay the ruling, at the request of the state’s lawyers, while last week’s decision is reviewed by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result, Illinois’ assault weapons ban appears to be back in effect – for now. The move comes after the appellate court earlier declined to block the ban. This leaning upon the actions of other courts instead of the facts in the case as they stand is legal logic that has allowed these laws to remain in place thus far. The efficacy of the law never needs defending, you just have to reference enough moderately similar cases from the proper perspective and keep saying its about safety.

No need to prove things are safer, its about safety and that is enough.

U.S. District Judge Stephen McGlynn, based in southern Illinois, temporarily blocked enforcement of the assault weapons ban last Friday, saying it not only restricted the right to defend oneself but, in some cases, “completely obliterated that right.” McGlynn is correct in his assessment, however the state lawyers went to the 7th Circuit to complain. It “is the only federal decision in the country” they are aware of that “enjoins restrictions on assault weapons” or large-capacity magazines under a decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year.

So because it is the first such decision, they’re trying to hold onto the ban and keep it in place.

However they are likely just playing for time. One of the cases the state referenced in order to reinstate the ban, because the 7th Circuit punted as lower courts often do in 2A cases, is now in front of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Justice Amy Coney Barrett. That case has been brought by a gun shop owner, those state lawyers must make their case to the Justice by Monday morning. If Barrett responds like McGlynn did then the ban might be off again next week. Barrett did pen a concurrence in Bruen and this could be the first major case we see in SCOTUS hands to indicate what she meant specifically and what the court at large will further define as the parameters protecting the 2nd Amendment and the state and federal governments limits upon regulating it.

Keith Finch
Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009, he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.