Cook County Gun & Ammo Tax Rehearing and Injunction

Cook County Gun & Ammo Tax Rehearing and Injunction

This week, our attorneys filed a petition for rehearing and and a motion for Injunction against Cook County's collection of gun and ammunition tax, scheduled to be collected again Monday. The Court ruled the tax unconstitutional on one of the three grounds we brought, and they elected not to rule on the other two. With the Cook County Board having attempted to cure the unconstitutionality on this tax via cosmetic text changes, we are seeking both a decision on the other two issues as well as an order for the County to cease collection of the tax while these issues are pending.

The Three legs of our case

  1. Uniformity: The proceeds of the tax must be directed towards the legislative objectives of the tax.
  2. Uniformity: It is unconstitutional to tax a group for the general benefit; there must be a clear relationship between the people taxed and the purpose of the tax.
  3. Second Amendment: From the Illinois Constitution Article 1 Section 22: Subject  only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

We won on (1), but the County jammed through a text amendment with largely cosmetic changes which they believe cures the unconstitutionality.

The Court elected not to rule on (2) and (3), though the unanimous decision is lace throughout with acknowledgement that the right to keep and bear arms (RKBA) is a fundamental right and that this tax is a burden on the exercise of that right.  And particularly with respect to (3), the plain language of the US and Illinois Constitutions prohibit such an infringement.

What we are asking for

Our petition for rehearing requests the court rule on (2) and (3) as these issues have been fully briefed; there is no need for more oral arguments before the court, and the court has everything it needs to render judgement. Re-litigating this stuff for another six years at the circuit and appellate court levels, who have already ruled against us on these issues, represents a futile-for-the-county effort that will, in time, wind up again at the supreme court, where the county will lose.

Laying this burden on the exercise of the RKBA for another several years does irreparable harm to the law abiding gun owners in and around Cook County.  This is why we are also seeking a court order to halt collection of this burdensome tax.

what happens next

On Monday (November 15, 2021), all Cook County gun shops will have to collect the taxes on ammunition and gun sales.  Note: this applies for ALL gun purchases from a dealer - meaning post 72 hour waiting period gun pickups, so if you purchased a firearm from 11/12 on, all Cook County gun shops will have to collect this tax from you at pick up.

The court will grant or deny our petition and motion on an unknown timeline, so stay tuned.

Thank you again for your continued support, and attention to this matter. We know how important this is for ALL of us.