On Tuesday, Illinois Review broke exclusive newsthat former Republican Attorney General candidate Thomas DeVore had filed suit against Gov. JB Pritzker, State Senate President Don Harmon, D, House Speaker Christopher Welch, D, and Attorney General Kwame Raoul, D, to stop their recent Assault Weapons Ban. DeVore’s motion for a temporary restraining order was heard on Wednesday during a two-hour hearingbefore Judge Joshua Morrison in Effingham County.
This afternoon, Judge Morrison granted DeVore’s motion and has halted Pritzker’s Assault Weapons Ban effective immediately while the lawsuit proceeds.
Pritzker signed the Assault Weapons Ban into lawjust last week. After the ceremony, Pritzker spoke to the press, where he had a stern warning for conservatives across the state: there will be consequences for not following the law.
After more than 80 sheriffs across Illinois signaled that they would not enforce the ban, Pritzker followed up with another stern warning: “[the sheriff’s] will in fact do their job or they won’t be in their job.”
DeVore’s suit is brought on behalf of more than 860 plaintiffs throughout Illinois and is based on alleged violations of the Illinois Constitution. One alleged violation is of the Equal Protection Clause, because the Assault Weapons Ban provides exemptions for certain groups – for instance, active and retired law enforcement are exempted from the ban, as well as active military and private security guards.
Retired military, however, much like the general population, are not exempted from the ban. DeVore argues that these exemptions create unconstitutional classes of citizens where legislators have decided who is subject to the ban and who is not.
By ruling in favor of DeVore’s motion for temporary restraining order, Judge Morrison has signaled that DeVore is likely to prevail on his lawsuit. The case will proceed towards a final judgment on the merits.
But in the meantime, the ban does not apply against the more than 860 plaintiffs as a result of the judge’s ruling today.
DeVore’s Complaint for Declaratory Judgement can be accessed here.
A copy of the Temporary Restraining Order can be accessed here.