Several Illinois sheriffs will not enforce the state’s recently passed gun law, with many arguing it violates the Second Amendment, according to NBC Chicago.
Sheriffs from Kankakee County, Boone County, Winnebago County and McHenry County posted messages on social media saying they will not comply with the portion of the law that requires residents to register their guns with the state, according to NBC Chicago. The recently passed law, HB 5471, will outlaw the sale, manufacture, possession and purchase of “assault-style” weapons, while also limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns.
Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey shared a message on Facebook Wednesday, saying that one of his duties is to protect the Constitution, including the right to “keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property,” he said in the post. (RELATED: ‘I Will Go Down With The Ship If Need Be’: Sheriff Says He Will Not Give FBI Info On Legal Gun Owners)
“As the custodian of the jail and chief law enforcement official for Kankakee County, that neither myself nor my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the State, nor will we be arresting or housing law abiding individuals that have been charged solely with non-compliance of this Act,” Downey continued, calling the law a “clear violation” of the Second Amendment.
McHenry County Sheriff Robb Tadelman said that his office would also not enforce the gun registration required by the new law.
“Neither myself nor my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the state, nor will we be arresting or housing law abiding individuals that have been charged solely with non-compliance with this act,” Tadelman said in a social media post, according to NBC Chicago.
McLean County Sheriff Matt Lane has joined other Illinois county sheriffs in refusing to enforce Pritzker’s unconstitutional assault weapons ban. pic.twitter.com/0hXHiaEsS4
— Cities 92.9 FM (@Cities_929) January 12, 2023
Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office called the announcements “political grandstanding at its worst,” saying the sheriffs are violating their oath of office, according to NBC Chicago.
“The assault weapons ban is the law of Illinois. The General Assembly passed the bill and the governor signed it into law to protect children in schools, worshippers at church and families at parades from the fear of sudden mass murder,” the spokesperson told NBC Chicago. “Sheriffs have a constitutional duty to uphold the laws of the state, not pick and choose which laws they support and when.”
Alongside law enforcement officials, pro-gun rights groups are gearing up for war over the “unconstitutional” law. The National Rifle Association (NRA) plans to counter the law, telling the Daily Caller News Foundation that it “will fight this unconstitutional ban.”
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) plans to “see Illinois in Federal court,” SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb told the DCNF. “We will not allow this blatant attack on the right to keep and Bear arms to go unchallenged,” he said.
Pritzker’s office did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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