The Illinois Supreme Court upheld gun control measures signed into law earlier this year by its leftist governor, Breitbart reported. The strict legislation bans "assault rifles" and "high-capacity" magazines.
Several opponents of the gun control laws filed suit immediately after Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill on January 10. This decision Friday from the state's high court was a result of a lawsuit brought by Illinois state Rep. Dan Caulkins.
The Republican lawmaker's case argued that a ban on so-called "assault weapons" is unconstitutional. The court disagreed and ruled in favor of the governor in the case known as Caulkins v. Pritzker.
The plaintiffs in the case were both average citizens who held Firearm Owner’s Identification credentials in Illinois. They asserted that as "law-abiding gun owners," they had a right to the weapons being banned.
Judge Elizabeth Rochford, a Pritzker pick who wrote the majority opinion, claimed that is not sufficient. Rochford believes "assault weapons" only belong in the hands of trained professionals, the Second Amendment notwithstanding.
"A FOID cardholder does not have a duty to maintain public order; to make arrests for offenses; or to prevent, detect, investigate, prosecute, or incarcerate a person for a violation of law," she wrote. "By contrast, each of the seven categories of trained professionals must undergo specialized firearms training pertaining to their employment to maintain their exempt status under the Act."
Despite this assertion, the Second Amendment doesn't make this a necessary qualification. Other cases related to the law are making their way through lower courts.
U.S. District Judge Stephen P. McGlynn granted a preliminary injunction that blocked the ban on April 28. He reasoned that there were already gun laws in place that should be enforced first rather than implementing a whole new ban.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit nixed that injunction on May 4. That case is still being litigated in the lower courts, meaning the matter might still not be settled.
"Federal courts and state courts are two independent court systems, so the only federal court that Illinois state courts need to obey is the U.S. Supreme Court," Ken Klukowski, a senior legal contributor to Breitbart News, told the media outlet. "If the Seventh Circuit affirms Judge McGlynn’s opinion granting a preliminary injunction, then the Illinois law will again be blocked, regardless of what the Illinois Supreme Court says," he added.
"The U.S. Supreme Court will eventually need to decide the question of whether these gun bans violate the Second Amendment," Klukowski continued. "We just don’t know which case the justices will eventually take, and what the specific provisions are of the law they eventually review."
Kulkowski believes opponents should be measured about their approach to opposing the law for maximum results in court. "Supporters of the Second Amendment will want to make sure the right statute gets teed up for review, and that the right lawyers are arguing the case," he advised.
Aside from the ideological bent of Democrats, there is no logical reason to enforce more gun laws. Both Chicago and Highland Park, Illinois, have heavy restrictions, high rates of gun crimes, and recently saw mass shootings over the Independence Day holiday weekend, Fox News reported.
The U.S. Constitution enshrines the right for Americans to keep and bear arms for their own protection. The question remains why Democrats are so bent on leaving law-abiding citizens unarmed.