Judge Stephen McGlynn. Image via US District Court.
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Yesterday afternoon, US District Court Judge Stephen McGlynn issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the so-called Protect Illinois Communities Act.  The injunction impacts all aspects of the law and as word quickly spread of the ruling, “Freedom Week” started almost immediately at most Land of Lincoln gun stores.

Four lawsuits had been consolidated in the Federal Southern District Court months ago, and the injunction follows oral arguments back on April 12th. Judge McGlynn didn’t fall for the State’s attempt to resurrect the “interest balancing” test on the Second Amendment in spite of the clear language that discredits that in the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling.

As Judge McGlynn wrote . . .

As Americans, we have every reason to celebrate our rights and freedoms, especially on Independence Day. Can the senseless crimes of a relative few be so despicable to justify the infringement of the constitutional rights of law-abiding individuals in hopes that such crimes will then abate or, at least, not be as horrific? More specifically, can PICA be harmonized with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and with Bruen? That is the issue before this Court. The simple answer at this stage in the proceedings is “likely no.”

You can read McGlynn’s full ruling here.

Where do we go from here? The State of Illinois has already filed a motion to stay the order. Our side plans to fight that motion. While McGlynn could grant the motion quickly, we think he’ll take a few days to evaluate it and to seek a reply from our side. I serve as the Executive Director of Guns Save Life, one of the named plaintiffs in one of the suits.

The best case scenario is that Judge McGlynn sits on the motion for a stay for a few days and then denies it late in the week, pushing the inevitable appeal to the denial to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. That will take another couple of days.

In the end, we’re hoping for at least five to ten days of a reprieve from the gun ban. In other words, it’s Illinois’ turn to have a “freedom week” for gun owners to stock up on magazines and buy the guns they really want for self-defense. Of course, this includes America’s favorite rifle, the AR-15, along with semi-auto shotguns and defensive handguns that utilize magazines over 15 rounds.

John Boch with one of his AR-15s before he lost it in a tragic boating accident. Image by Boch.

The Center Square has the story

Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted a ban on more than 170 semi-automatic firearms and magazines over certain capacities on Jan. 10. A week later, lawsuits challenging the law were filed in state and federal courts. In the Southern District federal courts, four plaintiffs groups’ cases were consolidated and heard by Judge Stephen McGlynn in East St. Louis earlier this month. 

On Friday, McGlynn granted a motion for a preliminary injunction, blocking enforcement of the law statewide.  

“Plaintiffs have satisfied their burden for a preliminary injunction,” McGlynn wrote. “They have shown irreparable harm with no adequate remedy at law, a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, that the public interest is in favor of the relief, and the balance of harm weighs in their favor. Therefore, the Plaintiffs’ motions for preliminary injunction are GRANTED. Defendants are ENJOINED from enforcing Illinois statutes 720 ILCS 5/24-1.9(b) and (c), and 720 ILCS 5/24-1.10, along with the PICA amended provisions set forth in 735 ILCS 5/24-1(a), including subparagraphs (11), (14), (15), and (16), statewide during the pendency of this litigation until the Court can address the merits.”

Messages to Pritzker’s office, and the office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul were not immediately returned. 

As the Second Amendment Foundation wrote in their press release . . .

“This lawsuit against Illinois’ so-called assault weapons ban is one of eight Second Amendment Foundation legal challenges against unconstitutional semiautomatic gun ban laws across the country,” [SAF EVP Alan] Gottlieb added.

“There is no question that Plaintiffs are harmed by PICA,” Judge McGlynn wrote in his 29-page ruling, “and will continue to be harmed if this Court denies the motion for preliminary injunction. A constitutional right is at stake. Some Plaintiffs cannot purchase their firearm of choice, nor can they exercise their right to self-defense in the manner they choose. They are bound by the State’s limitations.”

Later in his decision, Judge McGlynn added, “In no way does this Court minimize the damage caused when a firearm is used for an unlawful purpose; however, this Court must be mindful of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. While PICA was purportedly enacted in response to the Highland Park shooting, it does not appear that the legislature considered an individual’s right under the Second Amendment nor Supreme Court precedent.”

“There is some remarkably strong language in Judge McGlynn’s ruling supporting the right to keep and bear arms,” SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut observed. “The Illinois statute is harmful to all plaintiffs in this case, and we are delighted the judge handed down this ruling in such a prompt manner. We can now move forward.”

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64 COMMENTS

  1. If they really wanted to protect Illinois communities they’d wall off Chicago. Make sure Svengoolie is safely evacuated to Berwyn before beginning construction.

  2. One up; one down. And two more warming up in the bullpen.

    Federal judge declines to block Illinois gun law, calls ‘assault’ rifles ‘particularly dangerous’

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/federal-judge-declines-block-illinois-gun-law-calls-assault-rifles-particularly-dangerous

    A third federal case challenging the gun control law is proceeding in the Southern District of Illinois. And there is also a state case being heard by the Illinois Supreme Court that argues the “assault weapons” ban violates the Illinois State Constitution.

  3. John:

    Your linked article, wherein you and GSL crow about a “Freedom Week” and publicly encourage people to immediately go purchase “banned” stuff, is exceedingly foolish. I’ll bet that’s now going to be Exhibit A in an emergency motion to the Seventh Circuit, and markedly reduces the chances that the district court might “slow walk” a decision on a motion to stay.

    You could QUIETLY have gotten the word out that there’s a window of opportunity, and the subject would have gone viral among the Illinois PoTG. But by publicly pushing the action in this way, you’ve now made it significantly easier for the Seventh Circuit to justify an emergency stay.

    Did anyone with GSL vet this strategy with anyone remotely familiar with federal appellate law?

    Think, people, THINK!

    • Well stated!

      We’re often our own worst enemies. Add to these the “2A pseudo-purists” who are more interested in splintering the various player groups and pitting them against each other rather than at the real and clear enemy to American and God-given freedoms and liberties.

    • Yeah it’s swell gunshops will be able sell verboten gats n mags perhaps for a week. I’d hate to buy a banned rifle & not be able to pick it up(but I have a bunch of verboten magazines already). NOTHING whatsoever to be quiet about LKB! This is a national& international story🙄

    • “Your linked article, wherein you and GSL crow about a “Freedom Week” and publicly encourage people to immediately go purchase “banned” stuff, is exceedingly foolish.”

      IMHO, anyone who was going to rush out and buy a “banned” rifle, already intended to do so as soon as they heard of the decision. I could be wrong; it’s not a rare occurrence. 😉

    • Yes, your warning calls to mind the recent stabilizer brace ruling by BATF. Fully three-fourths of BATF’s 84K+ word ruling vigorously defends their new rifle definition, in part, by referencing scores of videos easily found on-line. These videos feature clueless airheads who publicly taunt the BATF for allowing us commoners to own unregistered SBRs dressed as pistols. Poke a tiger and you get eaten.

      • Jimmy..The tiger you mentioned is a handful of sneaky Gun Control zealots running the ATF. When drilled by Pro 2A members of congress the song and dance tiger looked as dumb as dirt.

        Because crime does not revolve around firearms I don’t care if a firearm has a short barrel, long barrel, stock or no stock, etc. Crime revolves around the criminal
        misuse of firearms, bricks, bats, knives, fists, feet, vehicles, etc…Try not to lose track of that.

        https://youtu.be/Op-thjowc0M
        https://youtu.be/vyLizXNI098

        • Oh, I agree with you completely. But despite the federal ineptitude, the BATF has a mandate backed by unlimited resources to persecute and to prosecute. When their push comes to my shove, I’m afraid they’ll win – and they know it. I can’t (most of us can’t) afford tens of thousands in legal fees.

      • Ironic that so many of you actually think you are pro gun. The BATF would cease to exist if just a fraction of gun owners bothered to not comply.

        People like Jimmy, LKB and Craig are why we have these ridiculous laws in the first place. Because people like you are fine with it and think the Governement is right. Pitiful, we don’t need you on “our side”.

    • LKB…That’s right we should all be hush, hush and cower down to an agenda History Confirms is Rooted in Racism and Genocide…and in the Land of Lincoln no less.

      Instead of advising people to lay low like a rock throwing kid who broke a window perhaps you and your legal eagles should man up and define Gun Control by its History of Rot for the appellate. Perhaps that would keep the History of Gun Control in mind for courts before they are seduced by what they preceive to be Goody Two Shoes Gun Control.

      • “Instead of advising people to lay low like a rock throwing kid…”

        It all depends upon how difficult to impossible you want your court case to proceed. I see at least 2 different issues and strategies here:
        1. Standing up for one’s own personal situation, where it still is not necessary to draw undue attention to the issue, and
        2. Trying to put together an offense/defense strategy in what will be a protracted court case, the outcomes of which may well be affected by factors that might not play out in the actual “courtroom”.

        No one around TTAG, save Dacian or Minor49er will likely disagree that the IL props are counter to the 2A, or Bruen, or even Divine law. Gloating over what will certainly be a short-lived pause, however, serves no positive purpose and could actually provide “ammo” for the certainly antigun attorney running the case. Doubly damaging if the judge leans Left, or even is somewhere in the middle, politically.

        Do the celebrating at the end if you are so-inclined, not before.

      • Deborah, he’s a lawyer who has argued before the SCotUS. It would be beyond foolish to just blithely disregard advice from someone who knows a lot more about a subject as critical as the 2A…

        • So, calling him out needs to be done. especially if he is actually at that level. He should know better than anyone else complying only embolden our enemies.

      • No. Fighting smart is not cowering. Slipping a punch and then counterpunching if often better than going toe to toe. Frontal attacks are often less effective than flanking moves.

        Here, other than publicly and gratuitously poking the bear when it’s wounded, what does crowing about the “Freedom Week” accomplish that could not have been achieved by a quiet “pass the word” campaign? Instead, GSL has given an assist to those seeking an emergency stay.

        • How’s that gone for you? Oh wait, you keep losing rights. You are not fighting smart the strategy you are recommending has never worked and never will. This has been proven time and time again.

        • TheBSonTTAG:

          Really? I seem to recall a little something called Bruen that happened recently, and rather changed the landscape.

    • You said this story should have “gone viral” the quiet way (whatever the heck that means), giving people a “window of opportunity” to stock up on stuff vs. to just tell everyone THE LOUD WAY!1!!!1 way, which will get them to do the same thing, which will make the court mad.

      Huh?

      • “You said this story should have “gone viral” the quiet way (whatever the heck that means),”

        Whisper the news instead of standing on top of the highest mountain and yelling as loud as you can.

        TTAG has *major* reach in the 2A community. It is such a mountain…

        • This makes zero sense to me. Whisper the news? This kind of story cannot be whispered. Gee, did you hear about this from a whisper, or the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Springfield State Journal-Register, WGN, ABC national and local, CBS national and local, NBC national and local, Fox National and local, the Lake and McHenry County Scanner, The Hill, Yahoo, National Review, Reason, The Epoch Times, oh, and The Truth About Guns?

          It is plastered all over the place right now. I find it impossible to believe that gun owners in Illinois need to be prompted like children (ok, little girls, now go out and buy your AR this week, hurry up!), or that a court is going to be influenced by buyer behavior from which it is impossible to determine how they found their way into the store.

          Even if you have the most corrupt court in the world shoot down this ruling on appeal, they would do that regardless of what people buy in the interim.

        • CT:

          The story that the law has been enjoined deserves to be publicized, and it has.

          What’s stupid is to publicly lay out that there’s a “Freedom Week” window that they are hoping to exploit by having the district court slow-walk the motion for stay. What did that accomplish that couldn’t have been achieved by quietly passing the word? Instead, now the district court is going to have to rule on the motion quickly, or else the Seventh Circuit is likely to step in.

        • LKB – The Illinois governor, AG and director of the state police appealed this decision immediately. There is no slow walk. If you think the people who are trying to torch the 2A have tanks of gasoline but for some weird reason can’t seem to find any matches, you are mistaken.

          If I lived in the prison state of Illinois right now, guess where my money would be going this week? And it wouldn’t be because of one sentence found in this story on this site, which isn’t monopolizing coverage. This is a national story.

          Law abiding gun owners don’t need to be prodded to buy something before it’s banned (again) because otherwise they wouldn’t know what to do.

        • CT:

          The issue isn’t the appeal (that was inevitable). It’s whether there will be a *stay* of the injunction pending the appeal, and how long it may be before one goes into effect.

          Right now, there isn’t a stay. Typically, you must first move the district court for a stay before asking the appellate court, and that’s the seam that might have facilitated a “Freedom Week” — or even no stay at all.

          But by GSL rubbing the defendants’ nose in it by publicly pushing the “Freedom Week” angle, the courts are more likely to grant a stay.

          And for what? GSL could easily have gotten the word out about the window of opportunity quietly / without their fingerprints on it WITHOUT compromising their litigation position.

        • LKB – It was a misunderstanding on my end for not knowing that GSL was a plaintiff in the lawsuit until re-reading this story. I had mistakenly thought you were talking only about media coverage. Your background is law, mine is in journalism and I am as fierce a defender of free speech as I am of the 2A. My instincts always start against suppression.

          In this case, though, yes, totally agree – stupid on GSL’s part, my apologies.

          Sometimes it bothers me that this site doesn’t differentiate enough between in-house people and the stuff it gets from elsewhere.

        • CT:

          No problemo, thanks.

          As another commenter observed above, in litigation the time for doing a dance in the end zone is after the case is over. And even then, since we are dealing with governmental officials in states where they will never stop trying, you need to stop and think about whether the victory dance and trash talking advances the ball. If it doesn’t, then celebrate quietly, but make your public statements with an eye towards winning the next battle.

    • LKB –

      Any thoughts on the judge’s comments on stabilizing braces? Was his argument that the BATF has the authority to regulate them? Or, that all accessories are covered under the 2A?

      • It’s a bit muddy.

        On one hand, I think he’s saying that because BATFE has recognized that braces are necessary for disabled people to use an AR-platform weapon, they are “arms” and thus the Second Amendment is implicated.

        On the other, he seems to be suggesting that “braces” that are not clearly designed for accommodating disable shooters don’t fall under this argument. Or, making some logical extensions of what may be his argument, as long as BATFE allowed disabled people to have such weapons, treating them as NFA weapons for the rest of us is OK.

        Again, the argument as to braces is muddy, and as such probably not worth worrying about it, especially since it’s just dicta.

        (Full disclosure: I’ve always seen the “pistol brace” maneuver as a “too cute by half” way around the NFA, and I thought was likely going to get nuked eventually notwithstanding BATFE’s initial approval of it (a-la the Atkins Accellerator). We’ll see whether the NFA survives a Bruen challenge, but I would rather see the initial Bruen challenge be on the Hughes Amendment rather than trying to eat the elephant in one bite.)

    • It’s not like the anti’s are going to slow-pedal anything through the appeal process whether we’re celebrating or not. That’s naive thinking.

      • Jim:

        It’s not the anti’s I’m thinking about. Whether a stay will be granted is going to be decided initially by the district judge, and if he says no (or sits on it) by three judges on the Seventh Circuit.

        Doing an end zone dance like this that lays out how you’re trying to game the system in the short term is not how you persuade judges. And while the district judge might well have been able to slow walk ruling on a motion to stay, that’s out the window now that GSL has pulled its little stunt.

        In litigation, you have an objective: to win the case. If what you’re doing isn’t advancing that objective, why do it? And if it’s in fact counterproductive to the objective — as I think GSL’s move is here — it’s just plain stupid.

    • Every week is freedom week in Chicago, as long as you want to murder, steal, carjack, you know, all the fun stuff.

  4. “Can the senseless crimes of a relative few be so despicable to justify the infringement of the constitutional rights of law-abiding individuals in hopes that such crimes will then abate or, at least, not be as horrific?”

    Wow!

    • Judge Steven McGlynn sounds well qualified for the bench. Compare his reasoning to this idiot.

      “US District Judge Lindsay Jenkins says the government’s interest in protecting the public from ‘dangerous’ weapons outweighs gun owner’s Second Amendment rights claims”

      • It comes down to this:

        McGlynn — appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of Illinois September 16, 2020, upon the nomination of President Donald Trump and confirmation of the United States Senate.

        Jenkins — recommended to pResident BaiDeng by Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth. BaiDeng nominated Jenkins to the seat vacated by Judge John Z. Lee; received her judicial commission on February 24, 2023. She has also taught at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law on the Chicago gun violence epidemic.

        Any questions?

      • McGlynn is the kind of guy that the Stasi would find to have slipped/fell out of a 12th story window, car brakes to have failed, or suicide by shooting in back of head (twice). Be watchful for the American Stasi Judge McGlynn .

    • ““Can the senseless crimes of a relative few be so despicable to justify the infringement of the constitutional rights…”

      Sounds a lot like another guy who said that those who give up essential liberty seeking temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety… 🙂

  5. Last time I was in a jury pool, I raised my hand when the judge asked these two questions:

    1. Do any of you potential jurors have a problem with the justice system?

    2. Would any one here have a problem following my instructions to the jury?

    When the judge called me up to the bench to explain, I gave these two answers:

    1. Justice in this country in clearly politicised. The political.views of prosecutors and judges takes precedence over the law…this is a constant.

    2. If your instructions, your honor, conflict with my conscience, I will always follow my conscience.

    I told the truth and was on my way home before lunch.

    BTW, the jury was being selected to try a black guy accused of attempted armed robbery. This was in Federal court in Philadelphia.

    • “If your instructions, your honor, conflict with my conscience, I will always follow my conscience.”

      If I’m called for jury duty, I’ll tell the judge I will be happy to give the guilty bastard the fair trial he deserves.

      I’ll be dismissed as fast as you were… 🙂

        • I’ve served on a jury. It was an interesting experience, to be sure. I was asked if I was a firearm owner; I answered in the affirmative, thinking that I’d be dismissed. But the case involved an armed robbery (black man using a knife nd a cigarette lighter that looked like a handgun). Perhaps the prosecutor wanted us to be seated, as a third to half of our jury of 12 was composed of gun owners. (Or maybe this is FL and they wouldn’t have had enough prospective jurors left in the pool to choose from if they dismissed all the gun owners.)

          However, it seems to me that people such as myself, LifeSavor and Geoff, are the type of intelligent, informed juror that would benefit the court.

          I have to ask LifeSavor and Geoff — would you ever want to serve on a jury?

        • “I have to ask LifeSavor and Geoff — would you ever want to serve on a jury?”

          I gave the Savor a smart-ass answer, (and I’d do it again, because I’ve found out it *always* gets a laugh 🙂 ) but I did say that to my boss at the time when I needed to be scheduled off for jury duty. And he did laugh.

          I showed up, saw the little video they show the potential jurors, was assigned a number in a group, and sat around waiting to be called.

          They came back in and said the accused agreed to a plea, and thank you very much for serving, we don’t need you today. (It was a drug possession charge, BTW.)

          Anyways – Would I voluntarily honorably serve? Yes, but the case laid out in court for a crime with a prison penalty better be air-tight.

          I am 100-percent against the death penalty, for the reasons Jon Taylor laid out – No government should be in the business (having an active interest in, like a prosecutor cutting notches in his-hers bedpost for a political career) for killing its citizens…

      • Man With No Name,

        I was not actually trying to be dismissed. Just being honest.

        Yes, I would serve on a jury but would probably get kicked out because I do not take orders very well. Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

        • I’m the kind who will act like I’m going along, and will throw a massive wrench in the works if it isn’t going how I think it should. My decision will be biased in favor of the defendant if there is any doubt. Call it a ‘rule of lenity’ in the jury room…

    • Lol the Governement is only facilitating the trial. Citizens are deciding if other citizens are fit to continue living. You fail everytime with your reasoning. Some people are just evil and need to out down.

  6. Freedom
    Freedom Week
    Freedom
    Freedom Weak
    The citizens of America have the freedom to obey all laws delegated to them from someone who does not know them nor cares to know them.
    Taxpayers must pay their taxes.
    It’s the LAW

  7. This is very interesting. US Supreme Court getting involved with Naperville gun ban via Amy Coney Barrett. City of Naperville has until May 8th to respond to her.

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