April 29, 2023 – A federal judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois issued an Order granting plaintiffs’ consolidated motions for preliminary injunction prohibiting statewide enforcement of the Illinois assault weapons ban, the Protect Illinois Communities Act (“PICA”), until there can be a final determination of the merits as to the law’s constitutionality.
The Order applies to the consolidated cases of Langley v. Kelly (filed 1/13/23), Harrel v. Raoul (filed 1/17/23), FFLs of Illinois v. Pritzker (filed 1/24/23), and Barnett, NSSF, et al. v. Raoul (filed 1/24/23). The District Court framed the issue as whether the PICA can be harmonized with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and with the Supreme Court’s decision in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022). Amongst other things, the Bruen Court reaffirmed that “the right to ‘bear arms’ refers to the right to ‘wear, bear, or carry . . . upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’” 142 S. Ct. at 2134 (quoting D.C. v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 584 (2008)).
In answering that question, the Illinois District Court plainly stated that the “simple answer at this stage in the proceedings is ‘likely no.’” According to the District Court, the Supreme Court in Bruen and Heller held that citizens have a constitutional right to own and possess firearms and may use them for self-defense, and that the PICA seems to be written in spite of the clear directives in Bruen and Heller, not in conformity with them.
We anticipate that the state defendants will appeal this decision to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and likely seek a stay of the preliminary injunction pending appeal.
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor these cases and other firearm related statutes and litigation around the country. If you have any questions concerning firearms related litigation, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.