Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th District to uphold a lower court’s decision denying preliminary injunctive relief to plaintiffs challenging Montgomery County, Maryland’s prohibition on carrying firearms in and around schools, parks, childcare facilities, places of worship, and recreational and multipurpose exhibition facilities, among others.
Attorney General Raoul, District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb and Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown co-led a coalition of 18 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief to support the county’s designation of these places as sensitive places where individuals cannot carry handguns.
“All individuals deserve to feel safe while at places of worship or while their children play at parks or recreation facilities. That is why I am urging the U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold the district court’s determination that localities may prohibit firearms in such sensitive places,” Raoul said. “I will continue to work to advocate against the scourge of gun violence that has become common in too many communities around Illinois and across the nation.”
In the brief, Raoul and the attorneys general argue the Second Amendment allows states and localities to enact reasonable firearm regulations to protect against gun violence, including restrictions on carrying firearms in sensitive places. Additionally, Raoul and the coalition argue that the list of sensitive places identified by the county are consistent with other jurisdictions that limit firearm possession in crowded places, around vulnerable populations, and where individuals exercise other constitutionally-protected rights.
The brief is Attorney General Raoul’s most recent action 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. The office also continues to prosecute individuals who lie on FOID card applications. Raoul also proposed the Firearms Industry Responsibility Act in Illinois to hold the industry accountable, which Governor JB Pritzker signed into law Aug. 12.
Nationally, Attorney General Raoul led coalitions of attorneys general in filing briefs supporting state laws in New Jersey and New York to hold the firearms industry accountable. Raoul has also led coalitions of attorneys general supporting bans on carrying firearms in sensitive areas such as in schools, on public transit and in places of worship. Attorney General Raoul has persistently advocated at the federal and state levels to strengthen regulation of 3D-printed guns and ghost guns. Illinois law now prohibits ghost guns, but Raoul’s office continues to fight in federal court to help defend a recent rule closing the federal loophole. Additionally, Attorney General Raoul successfully filed and resolved a lawsuit to get the federal firearm license of an unscrupulous arms manufacturer revoked.
In addition to supporting law enforcement, the Attorney General’s office supports 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, Schwalb and Brown are joined in filing the brief by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.