The Illinois Supreme Court on Friday upheld the state’s sweeping gun ban, fending off the first major challenge to the landmark law which now awaits its fate before a federal appellate court.

The state high court’s 4-3 decision favours gun control activists who pushed for the measure in the wake of a shooting spree that left dozens injured and seven people dead during Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade last year.

Elizabeth Rochford, Joy Cunningham, P. Scott Neville, and Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis all voted in favor of the state, but justices Lisa Holder White and David Overstreet, both Republicans, joined in a combined dissent. Mary Kay O’Brien, a Democratic justice, also dissented in a separate opinion.

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The decision on Friday came in response to a lawsuit brought by a group of plaintiffs, including Republican state Rep. Dan Caulkins, who said the firearms prohibition violated the Illinois Constitution’s mandate that all residents must be subject to the same laws.

Judge Rodney Forbes of Macon County said in late April that the plaintiffs’ inability to “purchase their firearm of choice” and “exercise their right to self-defense in the manner they choose” due to the ban caused them “irreparable harm.” The office of Attorney General Kwame Raoul then appealed the verdict.

Attorneys from Raoul’s office said that the plaintiffs had not established that the state constitution had been violated by the weapons ban during arguments before the state Supreme Court in May. The state contended that the case would need to demonstrate that Caulkins and the other plaintiffs are “similarly situated,” or similar, to the expressly identified groups protected from the guns ban in order to establish that the restriction violated the equal protection provision.

The choice was made the same day that Vice President Kamala Harris, who backed Illinois’s ban on some high-powered weapons and high-capacity ammo magazines, was due to speak in Chicago at the annual conference of Everytown for Gun Safety.

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In addition to people who previously owned the restricted firearms before the prohibition, the exclusions also apply to active-duty and retired law enforcement, military officials, and prison wardens. These gun owners are still allowed to own their weapons, but they must now register them with the Illinois State Police.

Jerry Stocks, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said that since the law isn’t implemented equitably, it’s unfair to permit “grandfathered” gun owners to keep their illegal weapons while forbidding others from getting their hands on them.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, according to Stocks, is violated by the restriction. In their homes, all residents “have the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms” for self-defense, according to Stocks.

The Chief Justice of the United States, Theis, appeared to disagree with that claim, stating that Stocks could have brought his complaint in federal court and merged it with other lawsuits that raised Second Amendment issues with the ban on guns.

A vast list of supposedly “assault weapons” are prohibited by law from being delivered, sold, imported, and purchased. Large capacity ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds for long rifles and 15 rounds for handguns are also prohibited from being delivered, sold, or purchased.