SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined an Idaho-led amicus brief in Barnett v. Raoul, pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The 23-state coalition supported Caleb Barnett in a Second Amendment matter arising from Illinois.
Earlier this year, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen McGlynn heard four “consolidated cases with requests for the imposition of a preliminary injunction … to prevent the enforcement of Illinois’ Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA) until there can be a final determination of the merits as to the law’s constitutionality. PICA was signed into law by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker in January 2023, banning “the sale and distribution of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches in Illinois.” Judge McGlynn granted the preliminary injunction, writing that the Plaintiffs had “shown irreparable harm with no adequate remedy at law, a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, that the public interest is in favor of the relief, and the balance of harm weighs in their favor.” The case was appealed to the Seventh Circuit.
In the attorneys general brief, they argue that “the plain text of the Second Amendment bars states from banning arms owned by millions of law-abiding Americans” and that “concealed carry laws do not justify Illinois’s total ban on commonly used arms.”
General Reyes issued the following statement: “I’m proud of our state’s unwavering support for the Second Amendment, and as long as I’m Attorney General, we will continue to defend Utahns’ liberties to lawfully exercise their rights. Our coalition is on the right side of the Constitution in this case, and we look forward to a successful outcome in the federal courts.”
The States write: “Illinois’s ‘Protect Illinois Communities Act’ reflects a very different view of the Second Amendment. Instead of maximally protecting the right, the Act attacks the core of the right. It disregards a fundamental liberty that belongs to all Americans, and it encourages other governments to experiment with the people’s rights. In many regards, States are important laboratories of democracy. But when it comes to the Bill of Rights, States are not free to experiment. All States must respect and defend the rights of Americans. Unless enjoined, the PICA’s eroding impact will not be confined to Illinois.”
Joining Idaho and Utah in signing this brief were the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.