First off, we’re back. Monday was a tough night as I ran behind working on GunNews and got zero sleep. First time that’s happened in the 20 years of me doing GunNews off and on. So posting was light both here and at TTAG. Now you know why. A good night’s rest and here we are with some spare time.
A new commenter posted this in our story about steel ammo…
With everything going on in the state of Illinois regarding the gun ban and you spend your time talking about what ammo to shoot!!! How about what you are doing to stop this gun bill or are you done now that you all got your money from the lawsuits”
Well, gosh darn it. What have we been doing?
First off, I’d urge anyone and everyone to scroll back through the posts for updates. It’s not like it’s password protected. We’re an open book on 80% of the stuff we’ve got. Yes, it’s reverse chronological order, but deal with it. And sometimes there’s a lot happening. Other times, not so much.
The big takeaway I’ve gotten from this is a reminder that the wheels of justice turn slowly.
Some people, like the above commenter, seem to be under the impression that this all happens in a matter of days. Sorry, it isn’t like a TV show, and it’s definitely NOT like Judge Judy. [Does she still do 2-3 cases per episode?]
I’m a veteran of a few of these lawsuits in the past. We won one at the IL Supreme Court and won half of another at the IL Supreme Court thus far… and we’ve got two more pending… One of which, the FOID suit, has been going on since, oh, 2019ish? You get the idea. I’ll cover updates on each of those here.
No, I don’t think these will take five or six years like the gun & ammo tax lawsuit did, but I think expecting results in four or five weeks from the governor signing the bill hours after it’s passed is more than a little unrealistic. Admittedly, I thought we would have something by now, but I forgot that the IL Attorney General gets a vote in this too.
I was unable to finish the update on Wednesday evening, but I got a good start on it. Earlier in the day, I got caught up speaking with one gun shop owner and getting his thoughts on the path forward after picking up about 5300 copies of GunNews for distribution in Central and North-Central Illinois. But here it is:
The Illinois Firearms Rights Alliance Case (FFL-IL/GSL/GOA/ASC)
The most recent info: In the Illinois Gun Rights Alliance case challenging the gun ban and the parts ban in the Illinois Firearms Ban Act, there’s a status hearing on Friday. Then next Friday, Mar. 3, all of the briefs are due and the judge will likely issue a decision on potential case consolidation, stays, extensions and/or preliminary injunctions within a week of two after that.
Kwame got a 30-day extension a while back from the SAF/ISRA attorneys and from the NRA/NSSF attorneys. As the judge coordinated our case with theirs (and the Maag case I believe), we got stuck under that first extension. Yeah, it sucks, but it wasn’t our choice.
Kwame came back and asked for another 30-day extension after the judge ordered him to provide illustrative examples of all of the banned items from the Illinois Firearms Ban Act.
We objected – knowing there are a lot of gun shops teetering on the edge of bankruptcy as it is. Some report their business income down 70% since Pritzker signed the ban. To say nothing of people denied the most effective self-defense tools for protection of their homes, families and selves from bad folks with evil in their hearts.
The judge ruled against Kwame.
I’ll add this, as I did in my reply to the author: There’s a LOT happening behind the scenes, some of which involves herding cats (there are like 14+ cases, after all, and we’re trying to keep some of them from getting out of their lanes and wrecking not only their own case but others’ as well).
It seems like our legal team is doing the vast majority of the case management on this. Obviously we have to rely on convincing the others to do the right thing and explain to them why its in not only the best interests of gun owners state-wide, as well as their own best interests to follow our recommendations. We have no ability to force them to do anything.
Now some of the cats don’t listen any better than my German Shepherd pup did when I had him. For instance, one group with a four-letter acronym, rushed out of file a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Illinois after Pritzker signed the bill. They JUST HAD TO BE FIRST TO FILE. The only problem? It’s very similar to an existing lawsuit USING MANY OF THE SAME PLAINTIFFS that was filed in the Northern District of Illinois two or three years ago. Whoops.
Depending on what the judge says at the status hearing, our hope is that it doesn’t result in not only taking that case out of the Southern District or staying it until the Northern case is heard, but potentially the other ones as well (it would be the “low-numbered case), and maybe even putting us in the Northern District with a less neutral judge.
Todd Vandermyde had an update late Tuesday (?) about the status of things that was very good, as always.
Subscribe to his YouTube channel, Freedom’s Steel. Note the collection of jet fuel in the background there.
The State Cases (DeVore and Caulkins)
I know a lot more than I’m publishing on this, but I’ll share what I believe is common public knowledge.
A lot is happening there as DeVore’s jockeying to consolidate all four cases (three are his, one is Caulkins’ from Macon County). “Bazooka Tom” as I’ve gotten to call him (he’s kicking butt and chewing bubble gum… and he’s out of bubble gum…) did a nice, hour-long update for his peeps on Tuesday evening.
I did not want to text him to ask permission to post a link here at this unChristian hour, but if he gives it, I’ll share. He makes a great case for what he’s trying to do. (Permission received)
Spoiler: DeVore wants to do research and depositions to bolster his arguments.
Caulkins is resisting the consolidation and the IL Attorney General may be resisting as well.
Here’s Dan Caulkins’ statement on his opposition to Consolidation of all the suits.
The Macon County case is on track to yield a final judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs on a comparatively expedient basis relative to the cases in other counties. A Motion to Consolidate all actions was filed by Plaintiffs in other counties.
The Macon County Plaintiffs opposed consolidation for multiple reasons that illustrate differences in issues, procedure and legal judgment.
The Plaintiffs in the other counties are free to conduct their respective litigation without encumbrance from the Macon County action and very well could benefit from adjudications in the Macon County case.
Likewise, Macon County would like to conduct its litigation without interference from the other counties.
All cases, working independently focusing on their respective issues, will yield a comprehensive challenge in which all may have an interest. However, the differences in various legal opinions between plaintiffs in the respective cases would be difficult to reconcile in a consolidated suit.
Ultimately, there has been far too much misinformation and public discourse about litigation strategy to which I will not contribute with live discussion on public forums. Our counsel has declined to conduct public forums to articulate litigation strategy as the content of said discussion is privileged communication.
We have considered input from many sources, decided on a plan, and are executing that plan.
Others have critiqued the standing of our association, only to be wrong based on the overwhelming case law.
The certified members of the association are within the scope of the current TRO. However, we do not seek to rely on a TRO as it presents its own limitations and exposures. We seek to proceed to final judgment to enhance the protection of as many people as possible.
It’s pretty much common knowledge that pretty much every Democrat elected official in state government hates Tom DeVore. Like would run Tom over if they saw him jaywalking in the street kind of hatred. He was an enormous pain in the ass to Pritzker and crew over the Chinese Communist Flu mandates including closure orders, restrictions and face diapers. To say nothing of the endless parade of executive orders from Governor JB and so forth.
Then DeVore ran for Attorney General.
And now DeVore has handed Kwame the Magnificent defeat after defeat after defeat on this gun ban bill.
While I’m not privy to what Mr. Raoul’s saying to himself as he’s drifting off to sleep at night, I’d bet a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon that Kwame would prefer Mr. DeVore not to grab any more headlines soon.
According to Tom DeVore, Caulkins has an agreement with the AG to fast track the Macon County case to the Illinois Supreme Court for a summary judgement (?). We’re not sure if this will be for just the preliminary injunction or the whole ball of wax.
Obviously we don’t want to see the Illinois Firearms Ban Act thrown out because of Equal Protection before we can litigate it and get a good decision on the Second Amendment aspect of the measure.
The FOID Challenge (Guns Save Life v. Kelly)
The FOID challenge in state court (Sangamon County Circuit Court, for the record) is in the hands of the judge. We’ve gone through a series of motions. I got deposed for five plus hours on November 1st after completing many hours of providing written answers to detailed questions. We went about two rounds of briefs and counter-briefs along with a historical “expert” (expert fabricator, IMO) tendering his dubious “research” longer than I expected.
The judge has had this for a couple of weeks and I’m guessing he’s spending a lot of time carefully and thoughtfully writing his decision in this case which could easily end up among the top five cases he’s heard in his entire career.
The bottom line here: while everyone in the mainstream media and in the state capitol are thinking about all these lawsuits over the new gun ban bill, this Sangamon County FOID case will catch a lot of people by surprise.
The Naperville Case.
The Center Square has this.
(The Center Square) – An appeal is expected in the case challenging Illinois’ and Naperville’s gun and magazine ban. Gun rights groups expect the ruling to be overturned.
The case challenging Naperville’s gun and magazine ban was filed in September. It was amended last month to include the state’s ban that was enacted on Jan. 10. After a hearing last month, Judge Virginia Kendall ruled the ban on certain weapons is “consistent” with the “historical tradition of firearms regulation.”
Gun control advocates praised Kendall’s decision.
“[Gun Violence Prevention PAC] welcomes the decision of Federal Judge Virginia Kendall upholding as ‘constitutionally sound’ the new Illinois law banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines,” the group said in a statement. “For all of us who worked to pass this law, and for all of the potential victims who will be protected by it, it is good news that the first judge to rule on the statute recognizes that it stands squarely in the historical U.S. tradition of banning dangerous weapons.”
Law Weapons’ attorney Jason Craddock told The Center Square his plans to appeal the ruling.
In the Southern District of Illinois, Guns Save Life founder John Boch is party to one of four different cases there. He doesn’t expect the northern district decision to impact their case.
“This is just a request for a preliminary injunction. This isn’t a final decision in the case and I think a different judge is going to have a very different view on the [New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen] decision and its impact on the laws that Illinois has passed,” Boch told WMAY.
Two previous gun-related rulings from Kendall in the 2010 and 2014 cases Ezell v. Chicago were overturned by the court of appeals. Boch expects the same for Friday’s ruling.
“So I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals grant the injunction over Judge Kendall’s head,” Boch said. “It’s gonna be interesting to watch her get slapped down a third time because obviously, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals knows what the Bruen case means, it knows what the Second Amendment says and that’s gonna be that.”
Boch says the Bruen decision set a new precedent for Second Amendment cases to base rulings on “text and tradition” of the amendment, not on a balancing of public safety interests over civil liberties.
For the four cases in the southern district challenging Illinois’ gun ban, the state made a motion for a “Coordinated Preliminary Injunction Briefing.” When that will be due could range from Feb. 28 to March 2.
And here’s the interview. Not my best. Especially after no sleep.
Lastly, for the last little bit of our commenter’s comment, I’ll just cut and paste my reply:
As for you shitty, cynical last sentence. First, it’s not a bill, it’s now a law. But that’s trivial. We’ve filed our suit. We objected to ANOTHER 30-day extension request filed by the state and the judge denied the extension request by Kwame. There’s a status hearing Friday. Again, federal courts move at the speed of smell, but we’ve already got the motion for prelim injunctive relief in and expect to argue that shortly after next Friday, Mar 3rd. Give the judge a week or two to issue his decision and that’s where we are at.
It isn’t OUR money from the lawsuits… we forwarded every dime (and thousands more) donated during January to our Illinois legal team. We’ve got another 5-10k collected in February and we’ll do the same with that at tomorrow night’s board meeting. If you would like to attend, it will be held at CI Shooting SPorts in Bloomington. Starts at 6pm. It’s open to GSL members. If you’re not a member, you can sign up online at GunsSaveLife.com.
The GSL Board meeting will take place THURSDAY, FEB 23 at CI Shooting Sports in Bloomington. Meeting starts at 6. All GSL members are welcome. Not a member? We’re not going to check membership cards at the door, but you can sign up here. Bring a printout of your receipt if you’re worried about it.
Careful, if you start coming to those fourth Thursday board meetings, you might get nominated to serve.
Also, Todd put up a video about the Freidman case today. I watched it and maybe I didn’t catch its importance. Then again, I was driving in town and couldn’t give it my total concentration. YMMV. Clearly Todd thought it was important enough to put this up. And I know from talking with him that he’s got at least six or eight videos in the can ready to run, but he doesn’t want to put them all out at the same time. And he put this one out ahead of those other ones.