Hundreds of residents have joined the first two lawsuits filed against Governor Pritzker and other politicians over the state’s “assault weapons” ban, calling the new law unconstitutional.
Attorney Thomas DeVore, a former Illinois attorney general candidate, announced that his office had filed the lawsuit in Effingham County Tuesday morning.
The suit names Governor JB Pritzker, Senate President Don Harmon, Speaker of the House Emanuel Chris Welch and Attorney General Kwame Raoul.
House Bill 5471, also known as the Protect Illinois Communities Act, was signed into law last Tuesday by Pritzker.
The act bans the sale and distribution of high-capacity weapons in Illinois effective immediately.
In addition to banning semi-automatic weapons, House Bill 5471 also caps sales of high-capacity ammunition magazines and bans “switches,” which convert handguns into automatic weapons.
DeVore said that House Bill 5471 is an “outright attack on the constitutional rights of lawful gun owners across the state.”
More than 800 residents are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
“The people came together, and as result, citizens from 87 counties joined in this effort to defend their inalienable rights to bear arms and to further stand up against the tyrannical ways which their legislature and the Governor continue to pass legislation in violation of clear constitutional mandates,” DeVore said.
Pritzker said he and his administration and lawmakers have been “battling the powerful forces of the NRA” to bring the strongest gun control legislation to Illinois.
“I couldn’t be prouder to say that we got it done. And we will keep fighting — bill by bill, vote by vote, and protest by protest — to ensure that future generations only hear about massacres like Highland Park, Sandy Hook, and Uvalde in their textbooks,” Pritzker said after signing the legislation into law.
DeVore said he is willing to take the case to the Illinois Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court.
An emergency hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Effingham County.
DeVore said he will ask for a temporary restraining order while the matter proceeds through the courts.
A second lawsuit has been filed in Crawford County by attorney Thomas Maag on behalf of three residents. A hearing has not yet been scheduled in that case.