NRA Calls In Lawyers Against Liberal Law

( Earlier this week, the National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the ban on semiautomatic weapons that’s in place in Illinois.

A recent CBS News report said the NRS is arguing that the Illinois law violates the Constitution’s Second Amendment. The law bans various long guns and rapid-fire pistols as well as magazines of high capacity and their attachments.

Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law on January 10. It was passed partly in response to a mass shooting that killed seven people and injured another 30 in Highland Park at a parade last Fourth of July.

The lead plaintiffs in the case are two gun owners from Benton, Illinois. CBS reported that this is the second complaint that was filed over the law in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Joining the gun owners in the suit are two shooting range operators and gun dealers from the southern part of Illinois, as well as a shooting sports trade association based in Connecticut.

In arguing their case, the NRA made reference in its filing to the landmark Supreme Court decision in Heller from 2008. That decision refuses to permit any restriction on “weapons that are in common use” currently unless there’s evidence of an “enduring American tradition” of a restriction existing.

The NRA wrote in its lawsuit that the law in Illinois “takes the radical step of banning nearly ever modern semiautomatic rifle — the single-most popular type of rifle in the country, possessed by Americans in the tens of millions.”

The law was blocked by a conservative judge in Effingham County last Friday, as multiple entities have argued that it violates Illinois’ state Constitution.

Pritzker appeared on CBS earlier this week, saying the decision in Effingham County was an example of activists for gun rights “venue shopping” so they could obtain an outcome that was favorable to them. He said:

“There’s always some place to go among 102 counties in Illinois to bring a case with a judge whose political future might rest on the decision that he or she makes. It was poorly decided, and it will be overturned. I’m very confident of that.”

Even still, there are some county sheriffs in Illinois who have said they won’t enforce the ban. Darby Boewe, the sheriff in Edwards County, for example, published a letter on his department’s Facebook page that explained why he would not be enforcing it. It read:

“Part of my duties that I accepted upon being sworn into office was to protect the rights to all of us in the Constitution. One of those rights enumerated is the right of the people to keep and bear arms provided under the Second Amendment.

“Therefore, as the custodian of the jail and chief law enforcement officer for Edwards County, that neither myself or my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the state, nor will we be arresting or housing individuals that have been charged solely with noncompliance of this act.”