Gun Rights Under Attack

( – The National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun rights activists have filed a lawsuit against a newly adopted Illinois law banning semi-automatic weapons.

The law, which Illinois’ Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker signed on January 10, prohibits multiple rapid-fire pistols, long guns, and high-capacity magazines and attachments in Illinois.

The new legislation was adopted to react to a mass shooting that occurred last year during a Fourth of July parade in Chicago’s Highland Park suburb, which resulted in seven deaths and 30 injuries.

The NRA and the other plaintiffs argue that the new legislation violates Americans’ rights under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They say that the law takes the radical step of banning nearly every modern semi-automatic rifle, the single-most popular type of rifle in the country, possessed by Americans in the tens of millions. They cite the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which rejected restrictions on “weapons that are in common use” unless there is evidence of an “enduring American tradition” of regulation.

The Second Amendment lawsuit against the law was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The lead plaintiffs are two gun owners from Benton, Illinois. Besides the NRA, they are joined by two gun dealers, shooting range operators from the state, and a shooting sports trade association from Connecticut.

A judge in the conservative Effingham County, Illinois, has temporarily blocked the new state law, arguing that it violates the state constitution. This ruling has infuriated Governor Pritzker, who said, “It was poorly decided, and it will be overturned. I’m very confident of that.”

Dozens of Illinois county sheriffs have reacted to the ban by declaring they would not enforce it.

Edwards County Sheriff Darby Boewe wrote on Facebook, “Part of my duties that I accepted upon being sworn into office was to protect the rights to all of us in the Constitution. One of those rights enumerated is the right of the people to keep and bear arms provided under the Second Amendment.”

Governor Pritzker has attacked sheriffs such as Boewe, calling them a negligible minority in the state’s law enforcement and arguing, “You don’t get to choose what laws you enforce when you are in law enforcement. You have to enforce the laws whether you like them or not. You take an oath to do that. And these sheriffs have taken that oath.”

What is your opinion? Are you support the NRA’s decision to file a lawsuit to protect gun rights? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts and views by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.