US Supreme Court declines to hear 2nd Illinois case challenging state’s ban on semiautomatic weapons

Jan 8, 2024, 4:04 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear a second Illinois case challenging the state’s ban on semiautomatic weapons, which took effect Jan. 1.

Decatur Republican state Rep. Dan Caulkins appealed last summer’s ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court upholding the prohibition on handguns and rifles of the type used in the 2022 Highland Park Independence Day parade shooting that killed seven and injured more than 30. Under the ban, no one may possess or manufacture nearly 200 types of the firearms or accompanying high-capacity magazines, and those who already own such guns are required to register them with the Illinois State Police.

Caulkins and his co-plaintiffs — a Decatur pawn broker and individual gun owners from the area — wanted the U.S. Supreme Court to review their claim that two state court justices, by their participation in the opinion, violated the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection of the laws.

They said Justices Elizabeth Rochford and Mary Kay O’Brien should have recused themselves because they accepted campaign contributions from advocates of gun restrictions, including the Gun Violence Prevention political action committee and Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has repeatedly denied he expected anything in return for his financial support.

“Judges must preserve both the reality and appearance of impartiality,” Caulkins said. “It is impossible for these justices to be impartial after accepting millions of dollars in campaign cash from gun-control advocates and after receiving the support of a radical organization like G-PAC.”

Rochford wrote the court’s opinion, which dismissed Caulkins’ claim that the law is unconstitutional in part because it carves out exceptions for some categories of people, such as retired police officers, allowing them to keep their semiautomatic guns. O’Brien dissented for that very reason, calling it illegal special legislation.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear another case on the issue last month. The case came from a federal appeals court in Illinois that recognized the legitimacy of delineating a difference between weapons suitable for military use or other “trained professionals” and those for civilians.

Caulkins and the other plaintiffs’ attorney, Jerrold Stocks, of Decatur, noted that several other cases are in line for court decisions that could land at the high court, particularly those with direct 2nd Amendment challenges to the law.

Caulkins and Stocks said they are considering legal options, which includes seeking a state court rehearing, but declined to elaborate further.

At least 10 states plus the District of Columbia have prohibitions on semiautomatic firearms.

United States News

Associated Press

Woman, 18, dies after being shot at Delaware State University; campus closed

DOVER, Del. (AP) — An 18-year-old woman died after she was shot on the campus of Delaware State University on Sunday, authorities said. Dover police said officers responded at about 1:40 a.m. to a report of shots on the campus. Police said an 18-year-old Wilmington woman who was not a registered student was found with […]

53 minutes ago

Associated Press

North Carolina medical marijuana sales begin at Cherokee store

CHEROKEE, N.C. (AP) — Medical marijuana can now be legally purchased in North Carolina with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opening its long-planned dispensary this weekend on tribal land. Hundreds of people, many with approved medical patient cards to purchase items, celebrated the historic opening of the Great Smoky Cannabis Co. on Saturday within […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Conductor Andrew Davis dies at 80, headed Lyric Opera of Chicago and orchestras on 3 continents

Andrew Davis, an acclaimed British conductor who was music director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and orchestras on three continents, has died. He was 80. Davis died Saturday at Rusk Institute in Chicago from leukemia, his manager, Jonathan Brill of Opus 3 Artists, said Sunday. Davis had been managing the disease for between 1 […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Chicago police officer fatally shot overnight while heading home from work

CHICAGO (AP) — A 30-year-old Chicago police officer was shot and killed overnight on the city’s southwest side while heading home from work, police said Sunday. Superintendent Larry Snelling told reporters the officer was going home and still in uniform, but wearing something on top of the uniform to cover it as is customary for […]

4 hours ago

Palestinians inspect the destruction following an Israeli military raid in Nur Shams refugee camp, ...

Associated Press

Israeli strikes on southern Gaza city of Rafah kill 22, mostly children, as US advances aid package

Israeli strikes on Rafah killed 22 people, as the United States was on track to approve billions in additional military aid to Israel.

11 hours ago

Associated Press

15 people suffer minor injuries in tram accident at Universal Studios theme park in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A tram accident at Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles injured 15 people Saturday night, authorities and the company said. Los Angeles County Fire Department units were dipatched to the theme park on Lankershim Boulevard shortly after 9 p.m., the department said in a social media post. The victims taken to […]

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

US Supreme Court declines to hear 2nd Illinois case challenging state’s ban on semiautomatic weapons