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Cook County’s gun ban upheld as challenge to statewide ban continues

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(The Center Square) – A federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois ruled in favor of Cook County’s gun ban Friday. The challenge to the statewide ban in the Southern District continues.

In the ruling Friday in the case Viramontes v. Cook County, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer issued a summary judgment against the plaintiffs and in favor of the county. Pallmeyer pointed to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in the Bevis v. Naperville case where a three-judge panel said the city and state had a likelihood of success in defending gun bans.

“But even considering the sources the Plaintiffs do cite, their evidence falls far short of meaningfully distinguishing AR-15s from M16s,” Pallmeyer wrote. “This is truly a distinction without a difference … There is no indication in Bevis that this percentage difference in minute-to-minute firing capacity would render AR-15s different enough from M16s (which the court assumed were military weapons) to render them subject to Second Amendment protection.”

That case was filed in August 2021. An appeal is expected.

Other cases challenging gun bans in the Northern District of Illinois are on hold while plaintiffs appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the Southern District, attorney Thomas Maag, who represents a plaintiff’s group suing over the statewide ban, said Judge Stephen McGlynn is moving right along.

“The court made it clear that it was ready for this case to start proceeding and it didn’t need any more excuses to delay discovery and proceeding in this case,” he said.

After a closed conference with litigants last week, McGlynn on Friday ordered attorneys to file discovery requests by March 13, and a list of experts by March 27.

“The Court may discuss the targeted trial month and set the date for the final pretrial conference at the upcoming status conference,” McGlynn wrote.

Maag said McGlynn is moving right along.

“I think that this case will be tried sometime middle this summer, yes,” Maag told The Center Square.

Illinois banned more than 170 semi-automatic firearms, magazines over certain capacities and attachments on Jan. 10, 2023. Supporters of the measure say the ban is necessary to take “assault weapons” and “weapons of war” off the streets.

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