Pritzker signed the measure just days ago, banning "assault weapons" and "high-capacity" magazines, but now a judge has said the Democrat-dominated legislature and governor "egregiously violated" procedural requirements under the Illinois constitution to rush the measure into law.
For the time being, the restraining order only pertains to 866 individual plaintiffs who signed on to one of several lawsuits that challenge the ban. But the ruling also sends a hopeful signal to those plaintiffs their lawsuit is likely to succeed, which will apply to every other Second Amendment supporter in the state.
In addition, it is the latest court ruling against gun-grabbing Democratic politicians who are reeling all across the country after last year's historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which found that the state's concealed carry law (which essentially prohibited nearly all residents from being able to lawfully carry a gun) unconstitutional.
"Plaintiffs are being immediately and irreparably harmed each day in which their fundamental right to bear arms is being denied," wrote Judge Joshua Morrison in his 11-page ruling, rejecting the state government's claim that the law did not impact a fundamental constitutional right. He added that "the plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success" in their suit to have the law struck down, which is known as the "Protect Illinois Communities Act."
"This Court finds that the Defendants [Pritzker et al] unequivocally and egregiously violated the Three Readings Rule of the Illinois Constitution in order to circumvent the Constitutional requirements and avoid public discourse," the ruling continues.
The judge also opined that the law is not likely going to survive being scrutinized under the precedent established by the Bruen ruling.
Indeed, the law was already under siege by nearly all Illinois sheriffs who vowed not to enforce it, saying that they see its gun registration requirement as a huge violation of the Second Amendment's infringement clause.
In a letter posted to Facebook, Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen noted that he plans to follow his “morals, beliefs, and obligations concerning protecting the rights” of the citizens of his county.
“These types of laws put law enforcement officers and prosecutors in a very precarious box, with us having to decide to not enforce laws that were passed by government bodies,” McMillen wrote. “But, as your Greene County Sheriff, I cannot sit back and let laws that strip Greene County citizens of their constitutional rights, and not take a stance supporting the citizens against a government that wants to trample on their rights.”
Clinton County Sheriff Dan Travous, Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl, and Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing all made similar statements and commitments to their residents and voters, saying that their departments would not be used to conduct any investigations or make any arrests under provisions of the law for the same reason: Their belief that citizens have an inalienable right to keep and bear legitimate firearms for “defense, liberty, and property.”
Madison County Sheriff Jeff Connor, along with the county’s State’s Attorney Tom Haine, noted in a joint statement that they expect the law will face legal challenges and “trust that this legislative overreach will not stand.”
“In the meantime, we remain focused on reducing violent crime,” the letter reads. “Therefore, pending further direction by the courts, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office will not expend its limited resources to check whether otherwise law-abiding gun owners have registered their weapons with the State, nor will the Madison County Sheriff’s Office be arresting or housing otherwise law-abiding individuals solely due to non-compliance with [the law].”