Gun rights groups plan lawsuits if Illinois lawmakers pass new restrictions

(The Center Square) – As lawmakers contemplate a proposal to outlaw the sale of semi-automatic weapons and magazines of 10 rounds or more, the governor is bracing for expected lawsuits.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigned on banning the sale of certain types of guns like AR-15 rifles. A measure doing that was filed last week.

State Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, filed House Bill 5855 that would ban future sales of semi-automatic guns and create a registry with state police of those who already have them. The measure also would prohibit possession of magazines with more than 10 rounds and prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from getting the state-required Firearm Owner’s Identification Card to buy or own guns and ammo, with the exception of people under 21 that are enlisted in the military.

Guns Save Life founder John Boch promises lawsuits.

“I think this bill is going to be what’s gonna wake up the sleeping giants who say ‘hey, no, we’ve had enough. You never are satisfied by taking little pieces so we’re going to take a bigger chunk of the pie back this time,’” Boch told WMAY.

Boch said the “shall not be infringed” clause of the Second Amendment is clear.

“Bob Morgan is going to lose in court, and not only is he going to lose this, but I anticipate he’s going to get a whole lot of Illinois gun laws that are currently on the books struck, and that’s going to lead to a much safer society for all of us from criminals,” Boch said.

Gun rights groups already have a stack of wins against various Illinois gun control policies over the years, including more than a decade ago when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban of carrying guns outside the home. Other lawsuits are pending, including a challenge to the state’s FOID card.

Pritzker on Wednesday said he doesn’t have concerns about whether such bans in Morgan’s bill are unconstitutional.

“Not a constitutional lawyer but I will say that my expectation is that there will be lawsuits because once it’s passed the people who oppose it, that’s really all that’s left for them,” Pritzker said at an unrelated event. “I believe that this is a constitutional proposal.”

Lawmakers are set to return for lame duck session Jan. 4. The new General Assembly begins Jan. 11.

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