The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a recent assault weapons ban in the state is constitutional.
A lawsuit in response to the ban filed by Republican State Rep. Dan Caulkins argued that the new law violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled against Caulkins.
“First, we hold that the exemptions neither deny equal protection nor constitute special legislation because plaintiffs have not sufficiently alleged that they are similarly situated to and treated differently from the exempt classes,” the ruling says in part.
The new law bans dozens of types of rifles ― including the AR-15 ― along with attachments and rapid-firing devices. The ban was passed following a deadly shooting in a Chicago suburb in 2022 when a rooftop gunman shot more than 70 rounds into a crowd, killing seven people.
The shooter was able to legally purchase the AR-15 rifle he used in the mass shooting.
“No Illinoisan, no matter their zip code, should have to go through life fearing their loved one could be the next in an ever-growing list of victims of mass shootings,” Pritzker said in a statement when the ban was passed in January. “However, for too long people have lived in fear of being gunned down in schools, while worshiping, at celebrations or in their own front yards.”
The ban still faces legal challenges in federal court, where several lawsuits challenging its constitutionality wait to be heard.