Judge Blocks Illinois ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban, Suggests There Are Already Laws on Books that Need to Be Enforced

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

U.S. District Judge Stephen P. McGlynn issued a preliminary injunction against Illinois’ “assault weapons” ban Friday, noting in his opinion that there are already plenty of gun laws on the books and those laws need to be enforced.

McGlynn was appointed to the court by Donald Trump.

The case before him, Barnett v. Raoul, consolidated numerous suits against Illinois’ “assault weapons” ban–the Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA)–and sought a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of PICA until a ruling on its constitutionality can be secured.

McGlynn delved into the case by pointing to the Supreme Court of the United States Bruen (2022) decision:

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))

He explained that in Bruen, SCOTUS:

…adopted a single step test “rooted in the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by history” under which the “government must affirmatively prove that its firearm regulation is part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.” … Under this framework, “the Second Amendment protects the possession and use of weapons that are ‘in common use at the time.’” Id. at 2128 (quoting Heller, 554 U.S. at 627).

McGlynn observed that the July 4, 2022, attack on an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, occurred just weeks after Bruen and was used by Illinois Democrats to justify passage of PICA.

He pointed out:

As Americans, we have every reason to celebrate our rights and freedoms, especially on Independence Day. Can the senseless crimes of a relative few be so despicable to justify the infringement of the constitutional rights of law-abiding individuals in hopes that such crimes will then abate or, at least, not be as horrific? More specifically, can PICA be harmonized with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and with Bruen? That is the issue before this Court. The simple answer at this stage in the proceedings is “likely no.”

He concluded by issuing the preliminary injunction and noting that there is already “a wide array of civil and criminal laws that permit the commitment and prosecution of those who use or may use firearms to commit crimes. Law enforcement and prosecutors should take their obligations to enforce these laws seriously.”

The case is Barnett v. RaoulNo. 3:23-cv-209 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

WATCH: Here’s the Difference Between an AR-15 and “Assault Weapon”


AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a PhD in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.


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