Illinois judge temporarily blocks state ban on semiautomatic gun sales

An Illinois judge temporarily blocked on Friday a newly enacted state ban on many semi-automatic firearms, a measure lawmakers swiftly passed after a gunman killed seven people and wounded dozens with an AR-15-type rifle at a July Fourth parade near Chicago.

In granting a restraining order, state Circuit Court Judge Joshua Morrison sided with hundreds of plaintiffs who challenged the law on grounds that unconstitutional legislative maneuvers were used to win its adoption in the Democratic-controlled state General Assembly.

The ban cleared the legislature earlier this month and was immediately signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker, also a Democrat, who had pushed for its enactment in the wake of last year's Independence Day massacre in Highland Park and other mass shootings around the country.

In vowing to challenge the ban, the head of the Illinois State Rifle Association said the gun measure would hinder nearly 2.5 million firearms owners in the state.

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