Governor JB Pritzker holds up a bill he signed into law earlier this month that bans the sale of high-capacity weapons and magazines in Illinois. | Photo: Illinois Information Service

(The Center Square) – A temporary restraining order issued by a judge in one of Illinois’ “assault weapons” ban lawsuits has been upheld by the Fifth District Appellate Court of Illinois.

While justices dissented with the lower court’s ruling on three of the four subject matter counts, it upheld the court’s decision on the fourth, keeping the TRO in place.

Illinois enacted a ban on more than 170 semi-automatic guns and magazines of more than 10 rounds for rifles and more than 15 rounds for handguns earlier this month.

There is also a registration requirement for guns already in possession before the ban was enacted on Jan. 10.

Those firearms have to be registered with Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024.

Earlier this month, attorney Thomas DeVore filed a lawsuit in state court against the law on behalf of 866 plaintiffs.

[Suggested Article]  Gov. Pritzker signs bill into law that abolishes life without parole sentences for defendants under 21 in Illinois

An Effingham County judge later issued a temporary restraining order against enforcement for those plaintiffs.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office appealed the TRO decision to the Fifth District Appellate Court.

After briefs filed by both sides, the appellate court issued its ruling Tuesday, upholding the TRO.

DeVore’s lawsuit claimed five counts against the state. The first count was an alleged violation of the single-subject rule.

The second count alleged a violation of the three-readings rule.

The third count alleged violation of due process. The fourth count alleged violation of equal protections.

A fifth count alleged that counts I through IV required injunctive relief.

“Count V is not relevant to our review because count V seeks a permanent injunction, and we are only reviewing the TRO,” Justices Barry Vaughan and Mark Boie said.

Upon review of the other four counts, the prevailing opinion found only one count stands.

[Suggested Article]  Illinois Supreme Court to hear arguments Tuesday in lawsuit against SAFE-T Act's end of cash bail provision

“We conclude that the circuit court erred when it found that a fair question existed as to whether plaintiffs would be entitled to the relief sought under counts I, II, and III, if the evidence presented at a trial were sufficient to sustain the party’s factual allegations,” the prevailing opinion said.

“Therefore, we reverse the judgment of the circuit court of Effingham County as to those counts. However, for the reasons set forth above, we affirm the TRO issued for count IV. Mandate to issue instanter,” the opinion said.

The dissenting opinion from Justice James Moore argued, “the Illinois Constitution … does not afford to the plaintiffs a fundamental right and does not entitle them to strict scrutiny analysis of their count IV equal protection claim.”

DeVore argued the measure violates equal protections by carving out retired and active law enforcement and others in the security and law enforcement sector from having to comply with the law while regular Illinoisans’ Second Amendment rights were being curtailed.

[Suggested Article]  Illinois Supreme Court takes challenge to ending cashless bail provision of SAFE-T Act under advisement

The Illinois Attorney General’s office said it will seek the Illinois Supreme Court’s review of the ruling on an expedited schedule.

“The Protect Illinois Communities Act is an important tool in what must be a comprehensive approach to addressing gun violence throughout Illinois, and we remain committed to defending the statute’s constitutionality,” a spokesperson for Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office said.