A federal judge struck down an Illinois ban on “assault weapons” this week in the most recent setback against anti-Second Amendment activists.
The Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA) was temporarily halted by Judge Stephen P. McGlynn of the Southern District of Illinois, an appointee of former President Donald Trump.
McGlynn wrote in his decision that the new law is likely counter to the Second Amendment. He asked in his preliminary injunction whether the “senseless crimes of a relative few” can “justify the infringement of the constitutional rights of law-abiding individuals.”
In the Preliminary Injunction ruling for the Illinois so-called "Assault Weapons" Ban and standard capacity magazine ban, U.S. District Judge Stephen P. McGlynn says arm braces are protected under the Second Amendment!
This IL ruling will set precedent in our Pistol… pic.twitter.com/QcIMJ1zxog
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) April 28, 2023
He also asked whether or not the PICA could “be harmonized with the Second Amendment of the United States” or with recent court precedents.
McGlynn said that the “simple answer at this stage in the proceedings is ‘likely no.'”
The judge continued, writing that a number of provisions in the law may be unconstitutional, including bans on threaded barrels, barrel shrouds and 15-round handgun magazines.
Such accessories, said the judge, are a portion of “the meaningful exercise of the core right to possess firearms for self-defense.”
The injunction may set up a protracted court battle that could make it to the Supreme Court. Such a decision could solidify court precedent in support of the Second Amendment, similar to the 2008 Heller decision.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed the act into law earlier this year. It also required people that owned such an “assault weapon” and .50 caliber rifles to register them with the state.
The case against the state was led by the pro-Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America. The group wrote that the ruling “makes clear” that the state and governor “abused their authority and infringed on their citizens’ rights.”
The judicial intervention represents the latest setback for anti-gun activists.
Nebraska passed a “constitutional carry” law this month, allowing for citizens to carry concealed firearms without a state permit.
The state became the 27th in the country to pass such a law. Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen (R) said that the new law “upholds the promise I made to voters to protect our constitutional rights and promote commonsense, conservative values.”
The effort followed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signing a similar provision into law earlier in April. North Carolina recently strengthened the ability for citizens to purchase handguns.