IL assault weapons ban: McHenry County challenge to Illinois law transferred to federal court

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, January 30, 2023
McHenry case against assault weapons ban transferred to federal court
McHenry County's challenge to the Illinois assault weapons ban has been moved to federal court after a hearing Monday.

MCHENRY, Ill. (WLS) -- A challenge to the Illinois assault weapons ban by McHenry County has been transferred up to federal court after a hearing Monday.

McHenry County State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally filed the challenge to the Illinois assault weapons ban.

Monday morning, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul made the request to remove the case from state court and send it to federal court.

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Kenneally is asking for an emergency temporary restraining order blocking the law from taking effect in McHenry County. He's arguing that the new law banning assault weapons is unconstitutional.

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Meanwhile there have been other legal challenges to the ban in recent days. Kenneally spoke after a brief court hearing Monday morning.

"I think that this bill one of the problems with this bill is that a criminalizes vast swaths of the Illinois population, including many in McHenry County, and that's not legislation in furtherance of the public good or of what we need here in Illinois that seems to be highly political and also problematic," Kenneally said. "We believe that this has the potential to violate both the Illinois as well as the federal constitution and I wouldn't be doing my job in upholding my oath of office if I didn't bring this lawsuit."

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The law, which took effect this month, bans the sale of certain semi-automatic weapons.

It also bans weapons with a variety of attachments and magazines capable of holding 15 or more rounds for handguns and 10 or more rounds for long guns.

Earlier this month, a downstate judge granted a restraining order, temporarily blocking the law from being enforced on anyone involved in that suit.

The Illinois attorney general said he is prepared to defend the state law in court and said the law is an important tool in the fight to protect Illinois residents from gun violence.

Now the case is going to federal court and may get consolidated with others. The timeline on a resolution remains unclear.