Governor Pritzker signs assault weapons ban into law

Illinois becomes latest state to impose a ban on assault weapons following the Highland Park shooting on the Fourth of July


Allie Everhart

On Jan. 10, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a law immediately banning the sale of assault-style rifles in the state. However, McHenry County’s State’s Attorney is challenging the ban, which is currently tied up in court,.

Nikki Sisson, Marketing Director

On Tuesday, Jan. 10, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an assault weapon ban into law after being approved by the Illinois House in a 68-41 vote and passing Monday in the Senate 34-20.

This ban takes place after a shooter used a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle, killing 7 and injuring 36, in Highland Park during a Fourth of July parade this summer. The law took effect immediately following Prtizker’s signature.

Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly have been pushing for more gun safety laws for years, with little success. Though a major goal of the organization for years, the ban on assault weapons seemed unlikely, until now.

“After nearly every mass shooting, we’ve seen efforts to ban dangerous weapons thwarted,” says Pritzker, “leaders send their thoughts and prayers, while they throw their hands up – resigning themselves to the idea that gun violence is a sacrifice that Americans must accept, but it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Not everyone agrees with the decision to pass the law, as some see it as a restriction of Second Amendment rights. Some individuals even stated they would not comply with the law, or would fight until it gets overturned.

“I’ll die on my front porch before anyone takes my guns away,” Illinois Senator Darren Bailey shared in a tweet. “My message to Springfield: If you want my guns, come get them.”

However despite all the outrage over legal gun-owners’ firearms being taken away, the bill just bans the sale of assault rifles in the future. Those who already own semi-automatic rifles can keep them, after registering them with police.

McHenry County Sheriff Robb Tadelman called the law unconstitutional and stated that his deputies would not be arresting anyone who violates the law. 

“The right to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalienable right by the people,” says Tadelman. “I, among many others, believe that HB 5471 is a clear violation of the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution.” 

The McHenry County Sheriff’s office will not check to ensure those who own semi-automatic rifles register them with the state and police department and McHenry County’s State Attorney Patrick Kenneally challenged the law. 

“We believe that this has the potential to violate both the Illinois as well as the federal constitution and I wouldn’t be doing my job in upholding my oath of office if I didn’t bring this lawsuit,” Kenneally said in a statement

The case is now in the federal court.