Rebellion against a new anti-gun law is seeping across Illinois as multiple law enforcement agencies are issuing statements that they will not enforce the law.
On Tuesday, Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 5471. The bill bans what Prizker’s website calls “the sale and distribution of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and switches in Illinois, effective immediately.”
The law demands anyone in Illinois who owns a semi-automatic rifle to register it, with the release explaining that this step means “law enforcement knows the location of these weapons of war and who to hold accountable if they fall into the wrong hands.”
A pushback was not long in coming. Jim Kaitschuk, executive director of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, said he drafted a statement for localities to adapt as they wished, according to ABC.
As of Friday, ABC estimated 74 sheriff’s departments covering 30 percent of the state’s population had issued statements opposing the law.
Darren Bailey is not going to adhere to gun law … it’s likely that many thousands of Illinois residents will join him https://t.co/euF9m3TmEO
— SafeSuburbsUSAPAC (@SafeSuburbsUSA) January 11, 2023
A CBS report said sheriffs in DeKalb, DuPage, McHenry, LaSalle, Grundy, Kankakee, and Kane County have rejected the law. Opposition has also been filed from Edwards County, Fayette County, Knox County, and Massac County, among others.
Jefferson County is also on the list.
“We will not be enforcing it in this county; I will also not house anyone in my jail that has violated this act because we know it to be an unlawful act by the general assembly and the governor,” Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Bullard Sr. said, according to ABC.
Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell offered a constitutional perspective for his opposition.
“Because between now or Tuesday when the bill was signed into law by the governor, how many people can have their constitutional rights violated?” he asked. “And I don’t believe any U.S. citizens should ever have their country’s rights violated at any time.”
Calhoun County Sheriff William Heffington shared that perspective, according to RiverBender.com.
“The right to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalienable right by The People. I, among many others, believe that HB 5471 is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution,” he said.
A growing list of Illinois county sheriffs have said they will not enforce the state’s semiautomatic weapons ban, a showcase of stiff downstate resistance that threatens to stymie statewide compliance with the new law. My story with @kwatznauer:https://t.co/81xtxKDOGe
— Brenden Moore (@brendenmoore13) January 13, 2023
Pritzker has not taken kindly to the growing trend, according to CBS.
“Sheriffs are entrusted by the public to enforce the law. They don’t get to choose which laws they enforce. They must enforce what we’ve written into the code — the General Assembly, signed by the governor,” Pritzker said. “And they will do so.”
Attorney General Kwame Raoul said if rebelling departments do not comply, “there are other people available to do the job.”
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