Attorney Darren Kinkead

Attorney Darren Kinkead, representing the state of Illinois, defends the state's new gun ban on certain semi-automatic weapons and magazines in a Macon County courtroom Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.

(The Center Square) – A circuit court judge heard arguments Friday in another challenge to the constitutionality of Illinois' new ban on more than 170 types of semi-automatic handguns and rifles and magazines over a certain capacity. 

The judge from Macon County took a request by state Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, and several other plaintiffs to issue a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the law under advisement.
The case is similar to other challenges brought in Effingham and White counties, where restraining orders were issued. Plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief against the law on several procedural grounds that have not advanced, but claims that the state violated plaintiffs' equal protection rights by carving out law enforcement and other employees of the security industry from having to comply have been upheld.
Caulkins' attorney, Jerry Stocks, made the same equal protection argument Friday, but he also said because many sheriffs aren't enforcing the new law citing constitutional concerns, there is a patchwork of compliance around the state.
"We have chaos," Stocks said.
In the Effingham County case, the state last month appealed a TRO granted for 866 plaintiffs, and Illinois' 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the TRO earlier this week. Thursday, a White County judge issued a TRO on behalf of 1,690 plaintiffs in a separate case.
The Illinois Attorney General has said it is reviewing the appellate court's decision and is expected to request an expedited schedule for the Illinois Supreme Court to take up the case. 

Associate Editor

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.