A McHenry County gun shop is among a group of plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of Illinois’ ban on high-powered semiautomatic weapons and large capacity magazines that took effect last week.
Marengo Guns along with the Illinois State Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition and a downstate gun store filed the lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday. It names Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly, McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally and McHenry County Sheriff Robb Tadelman among the defendants.
“The State has enacted, and defendants have authority to enforce, a flat prohibition on the manufacture, delivery, sale, import, purchase, and possession of many common firearms—tendentiously labeled ‘assault weapons’—by ordinary citizens, making it a crime for law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear such arms,” the lawsuit stated.
Dominic DeBock, owner of Marengo Guns, said the ban takes away 30% to 35% of his revenue.
He said the term “assault weapons” is not an industry term but a media and political one and the firearms that have been banned are not all “assault weapons.”
“They over reached, in my opinion, by quite a bit,” he said.
DeBock said he was asked to join the lawsuit and did so in the hopes that “it would be helpful.”
The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Tuesday, the same day lawsuits were filed in Crawford and Effingham counties challenging the new ban’s constitutionality.
“The folks buying these guns are honest, law-abiding hunters, sport shooters and people looking to protect their homes,” DeBock said.
The lawsuit asserts that the new law infringes on the right of “law-abiding, peaceful citizens to keep and bear commonly possessed firearms and ammunition magazines for defense of self and family and for other lawful purposes.”
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” the federal lawsuit says.
The lawsuit further states that those named will unconstitutionally enforce the new law and the new state law makes it a crime for “ordinary … law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear such arms.”
Kenneally declined to comment Wednesday saying he needed time to review the lawsuit. A call to Tadelman was not immediately returned.
DeBock has owned the Marengo shop for 12 years as well as a second gun shop in Wisconsin for about one and a half years. The Wisconsin shop is not affected by the ban, but it is fully stocked and so moving the weapons there from Marengo is not a viable answer, he said.
When the ban went into effect last week, DeBock said he moved all the banned weapons to a warehouse.
“It will be a large challenge to overcome losing 30 to 35% of my revenue, but we will shuck and jive to make up for it,” he said. “We can try and compensate with other products, but we just don’t know if it is going to work out or not. Lots of product came off our shelves. That’s just not good for us.”
He said he could still sell weapons legally to buyers out of state or online but that likely would not make up for the financial loss created by the ban.
Source: The Daily Chronicle