SPRINGFIELD — A trio of gun owners and a firearms retailer in southeastern Illinois have filed the first two lawsuits in what’s expected to be a flurry of litigation against the state’s new law banning the sale and manufacture of assault weapons in Illinois.

Democratic leaders who pushed the ban had expected legal challenges. Senate President Don Harmon, who sponsored the legislation during lawmakers’ “lame duck” session last week, even closed his arguments during floor debate with a pithy “see you in court.”

Even before Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law, the Illinois State Rifle Association responded in a statement saying, “challenge accepted.”

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide, as well as hundreds of radio and TV stations. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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