Local gun owners applaud appellate court ruling

Jan. 31—EFFINGHAM — Local gun owners on Tuesday applauded an appellate court's decision to uphold an Effingham County judge's temporary restraining order that partially blocks Illinois' new ban on high-powered weapons and high-capacity magazines from being enforced.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by attorney Thomas DeVore on behalf of Accuracy Firearms in Effingham and hundreds of other plaintiffs. Customers at Accuracy Firearms on Tuesday were pleased with the latest development.

"I'm pretty excited about it," said Brad Hecht of Effingham.

Hecht, 36, said he has been a gun owner for most of his life, first being introduced to guns about 28 to 29 years ago.

Hecht owns a wide range of weapons, from shotguns to pistols, that he primarily uses for hunting but also for shooting targets.

Hecht also expressed support for those like DeVore and Accuracy Firearms who have challenged the ban.

"What they did was unconstitutional, anyway, so the fact that they're standing up for it is great," Hecht said.

Alex Kraus, 20, also of Effingham, was browsing Accuracy Firearms in search of his first gun.

Although he is not a gun owner yet, Kraus, who is considering purchasing a firearm for protection, was happy to hear the appellate court's ruling.

"I feel like it's probably a smart decision," Kraus said.

Like Hecht, Kraus believes the ban is unconstitutional. He argued that it would only prevent responsible and lawful residents from owning firearms while others can still purchase guns across state lines or by other illegal means.

"It's really only going to stop people that are trying to get guns for their own safety because in places like Chicago they're already banned," Kraus said. "You're just making it harder for people to protect themselves from people who have them already."

Nick Taylor can be reached at nick.taylor@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 618-510-9226 or 217-347-7151 ext. 300132.