A federal judge has made it clear to the state that he has no intention of postponing the legal challenge to Illinois’ gun ban while government lawyers try to decipher the legislation passed by the state legislature.
In January 2023, Illinois implemented a ban on over 170 semi-automatic firearms, as well as certain capacities of magazines and attachments. As a result, numerous lawsuits were filed, with several of them being combined in the Southern District of Illinois. As the legal proceedings unfolded, federal Judge Stephen McGlynn issued a preliminary injunction in April. However, this decision was later put on hold by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which ultimately concluded that the state had a strong chance of success based on the merits of the case.
While challenges to gun bans in the Northern District of Illinois federal court are currently on hold as plaintiffs seek intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge McGlynn recently denied similar motions in the Southern District. He believes that these bans potentially violate constitutional rights and is eager to promptly address the merits of the case.
In the scheduling conference of the case on Friday, Judge McGlynn in the Southern District of Illinois listened to the litigants’ testimony regarding their plans for proceeding on the merits in the consolidated challenge Barnett v. Raoul.
“This matter holds immense significance,” McGlynn emphasized on Friday. “The claimants firmly believe that their constitutional rights have been jeopardized. Therefore, the court deems it necessary to handle this issue promptly, while ensuring accuracy. Any required exchange of discovery will take place, considering that these cases usually involve limited and protected discovery.”
The state proposed completing the discovery process on November 30th, just before Friday’s hearing. This came after the plaintiffs had suggested wrapping up the discovery process in July.
McGlynn expressed his lack of interest in prolonging the case just to give the government more time to understand the legislation they have passed. He made it clear that he does not want the discovery process to continue until late November.
Gun rights advocate Todd Vandermyde, who has been consulting for one of the plaintiffs groups, expressed his impression that the judge is well-versed in the arguments and eager to begin proceedings.
According to Vandermyde, the individual believes that there has been a violation of conditional rights as stated in the pleading. Because of this, they are seeking a swift resolution to address this issue promptly.
The case had already reached the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on preliminary motions, and the court favored the state’s position. McGlynn expressed his desire to promptly address the merits of the case.
According to Vandermyde, McGlynn accurately recognized that the state had passed a flawed bill.
Vandermyde believes that the government lawyers are struggling to keep up with the technical aspects of the situation, and he feels that they were put in a difficult position because of it.
According to Vandermyde, the state’s argument that it needs to have a clear understanding of the specific challenges and standing of the plaintiffs is a bit of a stretch.
According to Vandermyde, they are asking us to find 200 plaintiffs who have experienced the situation of wanting to purchase a firearm but being unable to do so.
The plaintiffs must select their representative attorneys by Tuesday to communicate with the court regarding the scope and timeline of the case.