PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Reaction to the Illinois Supreme Court‘s 4-3 decision to uphold restrictions on semiautomatic weapons as part of the Protect Our Communities Act came in quickly statewide. Here’s a brief snippet of the reactions.
Gov. JB Pritzker
“I am pleased that the Illinois Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Protect Illinois Communities Act. This is a commonsense gun reform law to keep mass-killing machines off of our streets and out of our schools, malls, parks, and places of worship. Illinoisans deserve to feel safe in every corner of our state — whether they are attending a Fourth of July Parade or heading to work—and that’s precisely what the Protect Illinois Communities Act accomplishes. This decision is a win for advocates, survivors, and families alike because it preserves this nation-leading legislation to combat gun violence and save countless lives.”
State Rep. Dennis Tipsword, a Metamora Republican in the Illinois General Assembly
“Living my entire life from about the age of 12 as a gun owner and defending these freedoms daily, I understand our great nation was built on the ability of law-abiding citizens to purchase and possess firearms. This was granted without question of what you would use them for; be it self-defense of your family or home, recreational shooting, or in the worst-case scenario, in defense of the security of our free state. And all the while it was understood that this right must not be infringed.
I truly believe all sides of this issue want safe neighborhoods and streets, but this law is only looking at one side of a very complex issue. The direction of our state legislature and Governor as of late is to take away accountability from those who break laws, and in particular, break gun laws. I see it every day in my law enforcement career, when I or a fellow deputy arrest someone for a gun crime they are oftentimes a repeat gun offender. Until we decide to get serious about penalty enhancements on gun violations this cycle will continue, and all the while our families are less safe and our constitutional rights are diminished in the name of ‘safety’.
We are focusing this attention on the wrong group of gun owners. The overwhelming majority of gun owners in this state are law-abiding citizens who will NEVER pose a threat to anyone. We must get serious about how we deal with those who commit a crime using a firearm. Until we agree on how to handle those who actually have committed gun crimes, we won’t be able to prevent them.”
Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton
“Today the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed that we are on the right side of history in the work to end mass shootings by upholding the Protect Illinois Communities Act. Even as we acknowledge the significance of this ruling, we keep in our memories the countless lives lost and disrupted by senseless gun violence. By banning assault-style weapons, high-capacity magazines, and more, today’s victory takes us further in improving our gun safety efforts and building healthier, stronger communities in our state.
“I thank Governor Pritzker, the General Assembly and the thousands of advocates who came together to say, “enough is enough.” There is more work to do, and we are driven to protect the people of Illinois and continue our efforts to make Illinois the safest state in our nation.”
State Rep. Ryan Spain, a Peoria Republican in the Illinois General Assembly
“Just as with this court’s ruling to uphold the SAFE-T Act, today’s ruling to uphold this ban on commonly owned firearms by law-abiding citizens is a direct reflection of Illinois Democrats flexing their muscles through judicial gerrymandering and JB Pritzker’s wallet,” said Spain. “To come to this opinion, the majority even stated it had to side-step the second amendment question on procedural grounds, demonstrating the faulty nature of the ruling. Ultimately, it will be up to the federal courts to protect Illinoisans constitutional rights.”
Democratic Party of Illinois Chair Lisa Hernandez
“Today, the Illinois Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Protect Illinois Communities Act, an important victory in the fight to end preventable and senseless gun violence. All Illinoisans deserve to live without fear of being gunned down at school, at parades, in houses of worship, or in any of our communities. Illinois Democrats are leading the way to make that a reality. It is essential that we keep these lethal weapons out of the wrong hands, and I thank Governor Pritzker, President Harmon, Speaker Welch, and Representative Morgan for their commitment to protecting the wellbeing of all Illinoisans. We will continue our work to protect our children, our communities, and our right to live in a world free from gun violence.”
Illinois House Republican Leader Tony McCombie
The extremism of Illinois Democrats knows no bounds. More fraud, more federal investigations, higher energy costs, and more rights infringed. Last week State Auditors revealed $5.2 billion of fraud within the unemployment system – some of which was collected by Governor Pritzker’s Executive Branch employees.
“The same week, another federal corruption trial began and Democrats are silent about the need for meaningful ethics reforms. Governor Pritzker vetoed a pathway to inexpensive, clean energy, all because Illinois Democrats are dead-set on virtue signaling instead of problem-solving.
“And today, Constitutional rights were besieged by the Democratic Supreme Court that Governor Pritzker spent millions to elect. When will enough be enough?
Attorney General Kwame Raoul
“We are pleased with the court’s decision. The Protect Illinois Communities Act is a critical part of a multi-faceted approach to addressing gun violence. We are firmly committed to protecting Illinois residents from the gun violence that impacts too many communities throughout the state. We will continue to defend the constitutionality of the Protect Illinois Communities Act and other measures that reduce gun violence in our communities.”
State Rep. Travis Weaver, a Springfield Republican in the Illinois General Assembly
“It’s very disheartening to see that the Illinois Supreme Court has upheld the Democrats’ gun ban,” said Weaver. “This is an attack on our individual liberties and rights guaranteed in the United States Constitution, and, as a gun owner myself, I understand the importance of being able to exercise your God-given Second Amendment rights. Thankfully, this ban is still making its way through the federal courts, and I’m hopeful that those challenges will result in a different decision.”
Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge President Chris Southwood
“The Illinois General Assembly’s recent actions have made it harder and more dangerous to be a cop and for police officers to protect the general public. Now, with this decision, the Illinois Supreme Court has indicated it is willing to go along with a law that removes an important self-defense option for law-abiding citizens to use when the police aren’t nearby. Thankfully, this case will now be taken to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Illinois’ citizens may be given the fighting chance they deserve.”
“Make no mistake, criminals will always find a way to use banned firearms against the police and the citizens we are sworn to protect. Suddenly making law-abiding citizens into criminals will put all of us more at the mercy of lawbreakers. We are optimistic that the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down this law and keep police from becoming dreaded, gun-confiscating agents of the government.”
Dr. Sameer Vohra, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health
“I am pleased that the Illinois Supreme Court has upheld the Protect Illinois Communities Act. Easy access to assault-style weapons has created a clear and present danger for Illinoisans. Gun violence is a significant public health threat in Illinois, and the public deserves the right to be free from the threat of mass shootings. IDPH will continue its efforts to reduce gun violence, through the ongoing distribution of gun locks and other firearms safety initiatives to prevent such tragedies.”
Grace B. Hou, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services
“Here at IDHS, we are committed to ending cycles of violence in communities that have been disproportionately impacted for generations. The Illinois Supreme Court made the right decision today to uphold an act meant to protect these communities from further harm. I’m thankful for the relentless work of so many advocates, our legislative leaders, Gov. JB Pritzker and his administration, and community outreach and violence prevention workers who have made reducing gun violence a priority in Illinois. IDHS will continue to advance our efforts and investment in public safety through initiatives like the Reimagine Public Safety Act and our Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. By utilizing data to inform where help is most needed, we continue to address both immediate needs and systematic change to reduce gun violence, and most importantly, reach even more communities that have historically been left to fend for themselves.”