Illinois State Police look to consolidate federal gun ban challenges

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Illinois State Police are looking to consolidate several federal cases challenging Illinois’ gun ban into one.

The Crawford County state-level case filed earlier this month was the first case to be filed in state court after Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted the ban on more than 170 semi-automatic guns and magazines over a certain capacity. The measure also requires gun owners to register the banned guns they own with Illinois State Police no later than Jan. 1, 2024.

Langley et al v. Kelly et al. alleges the law violates the Second, Fifth and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. That’s the right to keep and bear arms, the right to not incriminate yourself which plaintiffs attorney says is done by requiring registration of guns the government defines as banned “assault weapons,” and the right to equal protection under the law.

Since the Crawford County case was filed, there have been two other state-level cases filed and at least three other federal cases filed challenging the ban.

Earlier this week, the Crawford County state-level case was moved from state court to the Illinois southern district federal court. The case is now in the hands of Chief Judge Nancy Rosentengel of the U.S. Southern District of Illinois, an appointee of former President Barack Obama.

Thursday, Illinois State Police motioned to consolidate Langley et al v. Kelly et al. with three other cases filed in federal court: Illinois State Rifle Association’s case Harrel, et al. v. Raoul, et al.; Illinois Gun Rights Alliance’s Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois, et al. v. Pritzker, et al; and the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Barnett, et al. v. Raoul, et al.

The ISP motion says similar cases are typically combined into lower-numbered cases, which ISP says is the Langley case that was filed Jan. 1, 2023.

“Consolidating the cases will prevent unnecessary duplication of litigation in four different cases, promoting judicial economy. And as each case is at the initial stages of litigation, no party will be prejudiced by the consolidation,” ISP’s motion says.

What’s not clear is how Bevis et al v. City of Naperville, Illinois, which was filed Sept. 07, 2022, plays into the consolidation request. While the Bevis case originally was focused on Naperville’s gun ban, plaintiffs this week expanded the federal case to include challenging Illinois’ gun ban.

“The National Association for Gun Rights is also asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to block the statewide gun ban,” the National Association for Gun Rights said in a statement this week.

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