By: José Niño

On August 11, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the state’s prohibition on “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the ban into law on January 10. After this ban went into effect, multiple pro-gun organizations filed lawsuits against the ban.

On April 28, United States District Judge Stephen P. McGlynn issued a preliminary injunction against the prohibition. He noted in the opinion that there are plenty of gun control laws in effect and that those laws must still be enforced.

On May 4, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit put a hold on McGlynn’s preliminary injunction. At the moment, this court is reviewing the lawsuit that was brought before the lower court.

In the meantime, Illinois State Rep. Dan Caulkins filed his own lawsuit — Caulkins v. Pritzker — contending that the “assault weapons” prohibition was unconstitutional. This case was taken up by the Illinois Supreme Court after a court in Macon County heard Caulkins’ case and ruled in favor of the Illinois State Representative. However, the Illinois Supreme Court ultimately overturned the Macon County decision and upheld the prohibition.

Judge Elizabeth Rochford wrote the majority opinion for the Illinois Supreme Court in Caulkins v. Pritzker.

In the majority opinion, Rochford mostly focused on trained professionals and argued that average individuals holding a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card are not trained professionals, thereby not prepared to use guns labeled as “assault weapons.”

The plaintiffs in this case described themselves as both FOID card holders and lawful gun owners. Rochford issued a response to the plaintiff’s assertion:

“A FOID card holder does not have a duty to maintain public order; to make arrests for offenses; or to prevent, detect, investigate, prosecute, or incarcerate a person for a violation of law. By contrast, each of the seven categories of trained professionals must undergo specialized firearms training pertaining to their employment to maintain their exempt status under the Act.”

Illinois is one of Gun Control Inc.’s favorite laboratories for implementing its gun control experiments. According to Guns & Ammo magazine’s “Best States for Gun Owners” rankings, Illinois is ranked in 39th place. The state has a solid Democratic trifecta at the state level, which makes the passage of pro-gun reforms at the state level virtually impossible.

In turn, Illinois gun owners must turn to the court system to halt the latest encroachments against their gun rights that are coming from their state government. Sadly, this is the way the cookie is crumbling in countless blue states across the nation.

Second Amendment proponents must take this political reality into account and adjust their political strategy accordingly.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here. Subscribe to his Substack newsletter here.