One month since Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted a ban on certain semi-automatic firearms and magazines in Illinois, the stack of federal and state challenges continues.


On Jan. 10, Pritzker signed a law banning the sale of more than 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines of more than 10 rounds for rifles and more than 15 rounds for handguns. Firearms that lawmakers defined as “assault weapons” already in possession by Illinoisans would have to be registered with Illinois State Police starting Oct. 1 with a deadline of Jan. 1, 2024.


“This legislation will stop the spread of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches and make our state a safer place for all,” Pritzker said in preparing to sign the bill last month.

Since the bill’s enactment, state-level and federal legal challenges have been filed.


In Effingham County, a state judge granted a TRO Jan. 20 for named plaintiffs. The state appealed and a state appellate court upheld the restraining order on the issue of the measure violating equal protections for all, as the law does not apply to police officers and other similar groups.


A White County judge then issued a separate TRO for named plaintiffs in that state-level case.

Wednesday, state Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, celebrated a temporary restraining order being issued in Macon County against enforcement of the law, the third such state-level order in four weeks.


“We now have a patchwork of TROs and two- or three-thousand people that are covered by the TRO, not fair to all the rest of the citizens,” Cualkins told The Center Square.


Caulkins’ attorney Jerry Stocks said they plan to take the case to the next step for statewide action before a scheduled status hearing March 20.


“Our next step would be moving for the declaratory judgment, attacking on its face, which was part of our alternative relief that we did not move forward on but we filed the motions for already and we will not wait for March 20 for that,” Stocks told WMAY.


A slew of federal challenges to the ban are also pending.


Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said the courts have been inundated with challenges and people are furious.


“They are put upon, they are diminished,” Pearson said. “They feel like their rights are taken away and the government has stomped on them and they’re not happy.”


The ISRA case could be combined or consolidated with several other federal lawsuits in the Southern District of Illinois federal courts.


Todd Vandermyde said while other federal lawsuits include a challenge to the gun and magazine ban, the gun dealers plan a separate lawsuit to deal with the magazine ban.


“We are arguing about parts, repairs and those kinds of things, as well as a bit more on the right to sell because don’t forget that the way this bill is written right now we have [Federal Firearms Licensees] with guns in for repair that do not believe they can return them to their owners,” Vandermyde told The Center Square.


Possession of banned magazines outside of the home or other private property without permission is a petty offense with a $1,000 fine per violation. Possession of unregistered firearms after the registration deadline can be up to a Class 2 felony.