BELLEVUE, WA – Attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation and its partners in a lawsuit challenging a ban on so-called “assault weapons” adopted in Cook County, Illinois in 2006, and revised in 2013, have filed a reply memorandum in support of their earlier motion for a stay in the case while a larger lawsuit challenging a statewide ban is litigated.
Joining SAF in this case are the Firearms Policy Coalition and three private citizens, all Cook County residents. They are Cutberto Viramontes, Rubi Joyal and Christopher Khaya. They are represented by attorneys David Sigale of Wheaton, Ill., and David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and William V. Bergstrom, all with Cooper & Kirk in Washington, D.C. The case is known as Viramontes, et.al. v. Cook County, et.al. It was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in August 2021.
According to the reply memorandum, a stay in this case is appropriate “because it will not unduly prejudice or tactically disadvantage Cook County, it will streamline the issues for trial (or summary judgment), and it will reduce the burden of litigation on the parties and the Court.”
“We believe the court should stay this case until litigation over the Illinois state ban lawsuit is concluded,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan m. Gottlieb. “Because Illinois now separately bans the acquisition of the same firearms affected by the Cook County ordinance, even if the plaintiffs prevailed in this case, the Illinois state ban would still prevent them from legally acquiring the firearms they want. If the Illinois ban is valid, then the injuries now suffered by the plaintiffs cannot be redressed by a verdict in their favor, and their case against the county is moot. However, if the Illinois ban is invalidated, the plaintiffs retain a continuing interest in the outcome of this litigation and it is not moot.”
SAF is currently involved in a federal challenge of the Illinois semi-auto ban, in a case known as Harrel v. Raoul, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
“All we’re trying to do is save the court some time and streamline the process,” Gottlieb explained. “We are confident our challenge of the statewide ban will prevail, so we believe a stay in our Cook County case is proper.”