EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ill. — A judge has granted a temporary restraining order against Illinois' newly-passed assault weapons ban for 866 plaintiffs in an Effingham County lawsuit.
Former Illinois attorney general candidate Thomas DeVore and DeVore Law Office, LLC are representing the plaintiffs, which include Effingham-based Accuracy Firearms LLC, in a lawsuit against the newly passed weapons ban. The judge's ruling affects only the plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit.
According to the judgment from Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison, the restraining order is effective immediately, with plaintiffs in the lawsuit precluded from enforcement of the ban.
A hearing on a preliminary injunction is set for Feb. 1 at 9:30 a.m.
Following its passage in the Illinois legislature, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the assault weapons ban into law on Jan. 10. It bans the manufacture, sale and possession of dozens of brands and types of rapid-fire rifles and pistols, .50-caliber guns and some attachments.
The law allows gun owners to keep the guns they already have but requires them to register their weapons with the state.
While gun stores in Illinois, including the lawsuit's plaintiff Accuracy Firearms, can ship and sell remaining assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines out of state, store owners said the ban will likely cost them thousands of dollars in sales.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker released the following statement regarding the restraining order Friday:
"This decision is not surprising. Although disappointing, it is the initial result we’ve seen in many cases brought by plaintiffs whose goal is to advance ideology over public safety. We are well aware that this is only the first step in defending this important legislation. I remain confident that the courts will uphold the constitutionality of Illinois’ law, which aligns with the eight other states with similar laws and was written in collaboration with lawmakers, advocates, and legal experts.
"Illinoisans have a right to feel safe in their front yards, at school, while eating at bars and restaurants or celebrating with their family and friends. The Protect Illinois Communities Act takes weapons of war and mass destruction off the street while allowing law-abiding gun owners to retain their collections. I look forward to the next steps in this case and receiving the decision this case merits.”
Citing Second Amendment rights, sheriff's departments in the eastern portion of the state have objected to the law and said they would not enforce it.
In DeVore's announcement of the lawsuit Tuesday, he said the ban "is an outright attack on the constitutional rights of lawful gun owners across the state unless one is so fortunate to be in the large group of persons who are somehow an excepted out."
The lawsuit, filed in Effingham County, lists Pritzker, Speaker of the House Emanuel Christopher Welch, Senate President Donald Harmon and Attorney General Kwame Raoul as defendants.
An emergency hearing for the temporary restraining order against the law was held on Wednesday at the Effingham County Courthouse. Representatives for the attorney general's office said in court that the law should stand because the plaintiffs failed to present evidence of how much money they would lose and they can't prove irreparable harm.
Of the 866 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, four are licensed FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealers and 862 are citizens of the state of Illinois.
5 On Your Side's Political Analyst Anita Manion believes, regardless of the decision, there will most likely be an appeal and the legal battle will continue.