Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) signed into effect legislation that flagrantly violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by broadly banning the sale and distribution of the entire class of semi-automatic weapons. In addition to semi-automatic weapons, so-called “high-capacity magazines,” and switches are also banned.
Pritzker has claimed “This will save lives,” according to Newsmax in spite of Chicago simultaneously having one of the most aggressive gun-control regimes in America and by far and away the highest murder rate.
The Democrat tweeted, “I'm tired of living in a world where a mass shooting needs a title so you know which one we're referring to.”
“No Illinoisan should have to go through life fearing their loved one could be next in an ever-growing list of mass shooting victims. We will keep fighting to ensure that future generations only hear about massacres like Highland Park, Sandy Hook, and Uvalde in their textbooks,” he added.
I'm tired of living in a world where a mass shooting needs a title so you know which one we're referring to.
I just signed the Protect Illinois Communities Act, which immediately bans the sale and distribution of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches in IL. pic.twitter.com/xvVfrlLSaU
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) January 11, 2023
The new law stands to face significant challenges in court as it directly violates the ruling of DC v. Heller that reversed a handgun ban in Washington, D.C. In that groundbreaking ruling, Justice Scalia writing for the majority wrote,
“The handgun ban amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of “arms” that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose. The prohibition extends, moreover, to the home, where the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute. Under any of the standards of scrutiny that we have applied to enumerated constitutional rights,[Footnote 27] banning from the home “the most preferred firearm in the nation to ‘keep’ and use for protection of one’s home and family,” 478 F. 3d, at 400, would fail constitutional muster.”
AmmunitionDepot wrote that “Given the numbers that are available, it’s possible to determine a ballpark figure of total semiautomatic guns owned in the United States […] The NSSF shows 17.7 million modern sporting rifles produced from 1990-2017. ATF data for the same timeframe on pistols is just over 52.4 million. Those combined equal to around 70.1 million semiautomatic handguns and rifles. If that's divided by the 423 million firearms owned, the percentage comes to about 17%.”
This undercuts the Illinois ban in two separate and seemingly contradictory ways, at least on the surface. First, at 17% of all firearms purchased in the U.S., the status of semi-automatic firearms as “an entire class of ‘arms' that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose,” as stated by Justice Scalia.
Conversely, if only 17% of all firearms purchased are semi-automatic, what benefit to gun crime prevention is there in only pulling a maximum of 17% of firearms off the streets?
Newsmax noted that many critics warn the law is ripe for court challenges that will ultimately overturn it. State Rep. Blaine Wilhour, a Republican from Beecher City, told the outlet, “A government willing to defy our Constitution is a government that is completely out of control. So you can sit here and dictate whatever you want today. But I can tell you that we will not comply and you're not going to do a darn thing about it because the law, the Constitution, and the founding principles are on our side.”
Reportedly the new law bans dozens of specific brands and models of rifles and handguns. Newsmax explained that this includes, “.50-caliber guns, attachments, and rapid-firing devices.” Under the law, no rifle may exceed a ten-round capacity, with a limit of fifteen rounds for handguns.