Illinois Gov. Pritzker signs into law new gun control ban on semiautomatic weapons and ammo magazines

Following some last-minute Democratic legislative subterfuge, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) signed into law a massively restrictive and likely unconstitutional ban on so-called “assault weapons” as well as “large capacity” ammunition magazines, the Washington Examiner reported.

The new law that takes effect immediately will ban the sale of more than 100 different specific semiautomatic pistols, rifles, and shotguns deemed to be “assault weapons,” and arbitrarily limits the capacity of handgun and long gun ammunition magazines sold in the state.

The bill had been swiftly pushed through the Illinois House and Senate over objections in the final two days prior to the swearing-in of the state’s newly elected legislative body on Wednesday following last November’s elections.

An emotional appeal in support of unconstitutional acts

“I’m tired of living in a world where a mass shooting needs a title so you know which one we’re referring to,” Gov. Pritzker said in a statement posted to Twitter. “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.”

“No Illinoisan should have to go through life fearing their loved one could be next in an ever-growing list of mass shooting victims,” he added. “We will keep fighting to ensure that future generations only hear about massacres like Highland Park, Sandy Hook, and Uvalde in their textbooks.”

Last-minute switch

The Center Square reported Tuesday that the Illinois Senate, late on Monday night, voted 34-20 to pass the gun control measure that both Republicans and Democrats acknowledge will inevitably be challenged by lawsuits on constitutional grounds. It was then passed by the House mere hours later by a vote of 68-41, according to the Examiner, and was immediately sent to Gov. Pritzker for his signature later on Tuesday, less than a day before the new legislature was seated.

With regard to the subterfuge, the bill known as HB 5471 was initially introduced in January 2022 and pertained solely to insurance industry regulations. However, an amendment was then introduced on Monday that essentially gutted that bill at the last moment before the end of the session and replaced it with the gun control measures and other unrelated things.

As noted, the hastily passed law bans the future sale of more than 100 commonly owned semiautomatic handguns, rifles, and shotguns, and makes it a felony offense for gun owners to not register with the state all of those previously legally owned but now-banned weapons.

The law also limits the capacity of all rifle and shotgun ammunition magazines to no more than 10 rounds while all handgun magazines are limited to 15 rounds. Already possessed magazines with capacity above those arbitrary limits can be retained, but only on private property, with violators at risk of a misdemeanor charge and fine.

“We’ll see you in court”

The Center Square reported that there was fierce debate over the bill, and state Sen. Darren Bailey (R) said to his colleagues, “You’ve got to know that the actions that you are taking right now are tyrannous,” and added, “You also must know that I and millions of other gun owners in this state will not comply.”

Another GOP state senator argued that all who voted for the measure “should resign” for violating their oaths of office to defend the state and U.S. constitutions, but in response to those critiques and threats of imminent lawsuits, Senate President Don Marmon (D) smugly replied, “We’ll see you in court.”

The new gun control law will indeed face immediate legal challenges as it blatantly violates the Second Amendment, and the Examiner reported that the Gun Owners of America organization said of the law in a statement, “Not only does this tyrannical proposition infringe on the rights of all Illinois citizens, but it is also extremely dangerous.”

“These commonly owned semiautomatic firearms are used countless times every year to save lives and deter crime,” GOA added. “Banning them will only prevent law-abiding citizens from purchasing the best firearm to defend themselves. Not to mention, the requirement to register currently owned firearms is vehemently unconstitutional.”