Illinois Attorney General Logo

Office of the
Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

Illinois Attorney General Logo


March 20, 2024

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul led a coalition of 22 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief defending the federal law that prohibits people who have been convicted of felonies from possessing firearms.

In their brief, filed in U.S. v Prince, Raoul and the attorneys general ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit to overturn a lower court ruling that found the law unconstitutional.

“The federal law banning felons from possessing firearms sets a clear standard that enhances public safety,” Raoul said. “Policymakers have a vested interest in keeping guns out of the hands of those with a history of committing a serious crime. I am partnering with my fellow attorneys general in asking the court to uphold this needed protection.”

The coalition argues that the Second Amendment allows governments to enact sensible and varied regulations to protect the public. In addition to the federal law, nearly every state in the country has imposed limitations on the possession of firearms by those convicted of felonies, and many have maintained those laws for nearly a century. The attorneys general also explain that while the current federal restriction establishes a clear and administrable standard, any alternative approach would be burdensome and virtually impossible to administrate.

The brief is Attorney General Raoul’s most recent action in his ongoing efforts to address gun violence throughout Illinois and across the nation. The Attorney General’s office works with state law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to increase awareness of Illinois’ red flag law and to address gaps in Illinois’ firearms licensing system.

Previously, Raoul successfully filed and resolved a lawsuit to revoke the federal firearm license of an unscrupulous arms manufacturer. Raoul also proposed the Firearms Industry Responsibility Act in Illinois to hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable, which Governor JB Pritzker signed into law in August.

Nationally, Attorney General Raoul led coalitions of attorneys general in filing briefs supporting state laws in New Jersey and New York that similarly hold gun industry members accountable for their own unlawful actions. Raoul has also led coalitions of attorneys general supporting state and federal firearm restrictions for people under the age of 21 and in support of bans on carrying firearms in sensitive areas such as in schools, on public transit and in places of worship.

In addition to supporting law enforcement, the Attorney General’s office supports victims service providers around Illinois that offer trauma-informed services for crime victims and their families. Raoul’s Crime Victims Services Division administers a host of programs and services to assist survivors of violent crime. More information is available on the Attorney General's website.

Raoul is joined in filing the brief by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin.