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January 24, 2023

NSSF Challenges Illinois’ Unconstitutional Gun and Magazine Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, along with several co-plaintiffs, filed a legal challenge seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent Illinois from enforcing the recently enacted law that bans most semiautomatic firearms including Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs), certain models of semiautomatic handguns and standard capacity magazines.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law HB 5471, the “Protect Illinois Communities Act.” HB 5741 is among the nation’s most expansive gun control laws. It bans the sale of hundreds of models of rifles including commonly-owned MSRs, certain semiautomatic handguns and rifle magazines with a capacity greater than 10 cartridges and pistol magazines with a capacity greater than 15 cartridges. There are over 24.4 million MSRs in circulation today, more popular than the top selling Ford F-150, and tens of millions of standard-capacity magazines also in circulation.

“The Illinois gun ban law is an overreaching attempt to deny law-abiding Americans their fundamental and Constitutionally-protected Second Amendment rights,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “The U.S. Supreme Court has already recognized that semiautomatic rifles ‘traditionally have been widely accepted as lawful,’ and with over 24 million of these rifles in circulation today, they are clearly commonly-owned for lawful purposes, meeting the threshold set by the Supreme Court in its Heller decision. Semiautomatic handguns are overwhelmingly the choice of firearm for personal self-defense. This law is clearly unconstitutional and does nothing to punish the criminal. It only deprives law-abiding Americans from being able to exercise their full spectrum of Second Amendment rights.”

Semiautomatic firearm technology is more than a century old. The Mannlicher Model 85 was designed by gunsmith Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher in 1885. Winchester Repeating Arms introduced the Model 1903, the first semiautomatic rifle to the U.S. commercial market in 1903. Detachable box magazines were first introduced with the Jarre harmonica pistol of 1862 and later saw commercial success with Mauser in 1896. The AR-15 was first designed by Eugene Stoner for ArmaLite, Inc., and introduced to the commercial market by Colt Manufacturing in 1963.

Since then, the AR-15 Modern Sporting Rifle, produced by hundreds of firearm manufacturers, has become by far the most popular-selling semiautomatic centerfire rifle sold in American today.


About NSSF
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit


Media contact:
Mark Oliva

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