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Illinois gun stores swamped after judge halts enforcement of gun and magazine ban

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U.S. District Judge Stephen McGlynn’s decision to grant an injunction against Illinois’ ban on the sale of “assault weapons” and “large capacity” magazines has had an immediate impact since it was released late Friday afternoon. With the injunction in place, gun shops around the state were free to sell modern sporting rifles and magazines that had been off-limits to most gun owners since the ban was enacted back in January, and gun store owners reported big crowds throughout the weekend.

When Roger Krahl, owner of RGuns in Carpentersville, heard about the injunction, he said the phones in his office lit up like a Christmas tree.

“Within 15 minutes, we had people coming in,” Krahl told the Tribune on Saturday. “There was a line outside the door before I could open up this morning. There will be no lunch today, because we’ll be going nonstop.”

Krahl told the Tribune he was “overjoyed” when he got word of the ruling by Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Stephen McGlynn.

Writing that “a constitutional right is at stake,” McGlynn found the plaintiffs in the case showed the law caused an “irreparable harm” by denying them the ability to “purchase their firearm of choice” and “exercise their right to self-defense in the manner they choose.”

… Maxon Shooter’s Supply owner Dan Eldridge said he hasn’t seen this level of business at his Des Plaines establishment since the panic buying that occurred immediately following the first COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020.

Eldridge said he expects record crowds and panic buying to continue into next week, as courts move forward with the ruling.

I have a sneaking suspicion that it was the Chicago Tribune and not Eldridge himself who called these sales “panic buying”, especially since the paper attributed this nonsense of Eldridge a few sentences later:

Eldridge, who is also president of Federal Firearm Licensees of Illinois, called the ownership of military-use rifles, like M-16s, with AR-15s, a “constitutionally protected activity.”

I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen an AR-15 described as a “military-use rifle”, and I’ve spoken to Dan enough times on Cam & Co to know that phrasing didn’t come from him, though I’m sure he did say that the ownership of AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles are protected by the Second Amendment.

Unlike the Great Gun Run of 2020, which was sparked by concerns and fears of rising crime and societal unrest amidst the early days of the COVID lockdowns, the surge in sales in Illinois this past weekend took place because those customers were energized and inspired to go purchase the commonly-owned arms that the state had tried to ban. If there was any fear involved, it was the fear that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals will step in and halt McGlynn’s order and allow the ban to be enforced while the multiple legal challenges continue.

Zack Johnson, of Woodstock, purchased a TRR15 rifle Saturday at RGuns. He was at work when he heard about the district court ruling, and his phone went off with elated texts from friends and co-workers.

“I’m fairly excited that I got my rights back,” Johnson said. “We live in the United States, we should follow the Constitution and be able to do what law-abiding citizens are able to do.”

Indeed, though we’ll see how long McGlynn’s order remains in effect. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has already appealed McGlynn’s decision to the Seventh Circuit, and two other federal judges in the lower courts have declined to issue an injunction; proclaiming instead that AR-15s and other so-called assault weapons aren’t protected by the Second Amendment at all. I don’t think the Seventh Circuit is going to sit on McGlynn’s decision for long, so I do expect gun sales to continue to surge this week… at least if and until a three-judge panel stays the district court’s order.

Gun control groups and their allies in Springfield enacted this ban with the hopes of curtailing the number of so-called assault weapons in the state. Instead, they’ve spurred on tens of thousands of sales; first in the days before Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the ban into law and again this past weekend when the law was put on ice, at least temporarily. Gun control is a terrible way to fight violent crime, but as it turns out it’s pretty good at motivating people to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, and the long lines at gun shops like Maxon’s Shooter Supplies is living proof of that.


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