Gun registry rules could provide ammunition for equal protection challenge



(The Center Square) – Recent emergency rules spelling out Illinois’ firearms registry as part of the gun and magazine ban may provide further ammunition to a state-level challenge that the law violates equal protections.

Attorney Thomas DeVore had the case Accuracy Firearms, where earlier this year he secured thousands of temporary restraining orders keeping plaintiffs safe from being subject to enforcement. Following the dismissal by the Illinois Supreme Court last month of a separate case from state Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, DeVore’s case was dismissed by an Effingham County judge.

“When that ruling came down, I don’t think there was a lawyer in the state, except unfortunately the court that we are sitting in, that said that forecloses any citizen’s ability to argue equal protection,” DeVore said.

DeVore filed a motion to reconsider in Effingham County, saying he can prove the law violates equal protections by exempting certain classes such as police and retired police.

“Many, many, many overwhelming law enforcement officers have no training on these banned weapons whatsoever, they’re trained in handguns and shotguns,” DeVore said.

DeVore claims that proves such classes of exempt individuals are similarly situated to other gun owners impacted by the gun and magazine ban, and therefore the law is unconstitutional.

On Monday, Illinois State Police announced emergency rules listing the banned firearms and how those who own them from before Jan. 10, can file a sworn affidavit noting they are providing information voluntarily. The rules also say police, retired police, jailers and those in the security sector are exempt.

Gun rights advocate Todd Vandermyde said there are concerns about the rules, among which are the exempt classes.

“I think they just doubled down on what Tom DeVore is talking about in regard to the equal protection claims that are within here,” Vandermyde said.

DeVore said training the government says exempt certain classes is a fiction and was never discussed when crafting the law.

“These folks that are getting this training in the handguns, these prison wardens, aren’t even astute in these weapons because they’re slapping the trigger all the time because they don’t know what they’re doing,” DeVore said. “This whole training argument is a fiction and I can prove it.”

The state has until next month to respond to DeVore’s motion to reconsider with a possible hearing sometime in November.



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