McHenry County state's attorney files lawsuit claiming new Illinois gun ban violates 2nd Amendment

The McHenry County state's attorney's office is challenging the constitutionality of Illinois' new ban on some high-powered weapons and high-capacity magazines in a lawsuit filed Thursday, joining a number of other groups, businesses and officials across the state seeking to overturn the law.

The lawsuit, which names Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul, calls the new law a "clear violation of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution" and argues it places officials in an impossible situation of deciding whether to enforce a law that violates citizens' rights.

The lawsuit, filed by State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally, makes the case that provisions in the law that ban a number of firearms, various attachments and magazines of a certain size are unconstitutional and argues the weapons and parts help make the weapons safer and have utility in self- and home defense.

The law, which took effect this month, bans the sale of mostly semi-automatic weapons. It also banned 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.

For those who already own the newly banned guns, the law will require owners to register their firearms - a provision that many law enforcement officials have said they won't enforce.

Weapons with folding and telescoping stocks, for example, are banned under the new law. However, the lawsuit argues those parts make the weapon both safer to use and easier to store.

Another example the lawsuit provides is flash suppressors, which it argues can help a victim during a home invasion.

The gun ban also contradicts the U.S.'s history of regulating firearms, according to the lawsuit.

Filed in the McHenry County courthouse, the lawsuit seeks to have the law declared unconstitutional and an injunction, which, if granted, would halt the law's effects for the time being in McHenry County.

The lawsuit was filed the same day as the Second Amendment Foundation, which names several parties, including Marengo Guns, as a plaintiff, filed in federal court a request for an injunction on its suit.

The gun ban was passed in the wake of a mass shooting at Highland Park's Fourth of July parade.

Many gun stores, including some in McHenry County, have said they will likely go out of business or see a significant chunk of their business go away as a result of the law.

It has also renewed efforts to make McHenry County a gun sanctuary, which has at times divided residents who have spoken at different meetings. The McHenry County Board could take up the issue at meetings later this month and in February.

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