Were you one of tens of thousands of Illinois residents who bought guns over “Freedom Week” when a federal preliminary injunction blocked enforcement of J.B. Pritzker’s beloved “PICA” gun ban? If so, the State of Illinois says you can’t register those guns and they must be destroyed, surrendered to police or moved out of the state by January 1.
What’s more, there may be another “Freedom Week” – or “Freedom Month” soon – courtesy of SCOTUS.
Attorney Thomas Maag, a guy who has been racking up one 2A victory after another of late, hinted there may be a way around that should the law not be struck down as unconstitutional on 2nd Amendment grounds – specifically the Fifth Amendment.
On the other hand, the more cynical among us will say, “Gun control zealots don’t respect our Second Amendment rights. Or our First Amendment Rights. Why would they respect our Fifth Amendment rights?” To which I reply: The gun control zealots don’t, but we’ll see if sober, clear-thinking judges respect our rights.
Read this from The Center Square:
Illinois State Police: ‘Assault weapons’ bought during week of injunction are illegal
In January this year, Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted the ban on more than 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines over certain capacities. Part of that includes a registry of already owned guns starting Oct. 1 with the deadline to register being Jan. 1, 2024.
When the Southern District of Illinois federal court issued a preliminary injunction against Illinois’ gun ban last month, gun stores were busy. Those sales ended six days later when late last week the appeals court put a stay on the injunction.
After the injunction was reversed while lawsuits continue, state police said firearms purchased during the injunction will be illegal because they were possessed after the Jan. 10 effective day of the Protect Illinois Communities Act.
“Persons who possess a banned firearm or firearm attachment are required to endorse an affidavit by January 1, 2024, stating that any banned firearm or firearm attachments were possessed prior to the enactment of PICA (January 10, 2023) pursuant to 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(d),” a public information officer with Illinois State Police told The Center Square in an email.
Penalties for possession of banned magazines is a petty offense with a $1,000 fine per infraction. Possession of prohibited firearms could be up to a Class 2 felony.
Thomas Maag was the first attorney to file a lawsuit challenging the law a week after it was enacted in January. He challenged the law on both Second Amendment and Fifth Amendment grounds protecting against self-incrimination. Arguments against the registry were put on hold when his case was consolidated with other plaintiffs groups in the Southern District.
“I think that these statements from the Illinois State Police are exactly the kind of thing that shows the Fifth Amendment arguments need to be brought to a head sooner rather than later,” Maag told The Center Square. A registry “puts those persons at risk of the state taking that exact information and using it against the owners of those firearms to try to obtain a criminal conviction for what have you, including but not limited to persons that may have acquired firearms during this six-day window.”
So don’t lose a lot of sleep about the Illinois State Police blustering over JB Pritzker’s beloved PICA gun ban. Despite the ruling by a single rogue Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals judge, this legal fight is not slowing down. Not even a little bit.
Which will make our inevitable win even more delicious – particularly when we rub the gun control zealots noses in the humiliation of defeat.