Several counties in Illinois are putting lawmakers opposed to gun rights on notice that they may refuse to allow anti-gun legislation being considered at the state level from being enforced locally.
“We’re just stealing the language that sanctuary cities use,” explained Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler, according to the Washington Times.
“We wanted to … get across that our Second Amendment rights are slowly being stripped away,” Kibler said.
Illinois’s legislature has been debating a host of gun-related legislation, according to the National Rifle Association‘s Institute for Legislative Action. In response, and fearing that Chicago-area lawmakers will get their way, five Illinois counties have passed resolutions designating themselves sanctuary counties for gun owners.
“They are trying to make a point that they really resent how the city of Chicago treats the rest of the state and how they’re treated as gun owners,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.
The use of the word “sanctuary” was intentional, its supporters said.
“It’s a buzzword, a word that really gets attention. With all these sanctuary cities, we just decided to turn it around to protect our Second Amendment rights,” said David Campbell, vice chairman of the Effingham County Board. He said other Illinois counties as well as local officials in Oregon and Washington have asked to examine the resolution.
Dave Workman, of the Second Amendment Foundation, said the issue could be more than just a localized response.
“It’s like a warning shot across somebody’s bow,” said Workman. “If you’ve got four or five counties telling Chicago something, that’s significant.”
Across southern Illinois, county officials said the idea is one they will consider, according to The Southern Illinoisan.
“I don’t think state legislators have the right to change what the Constitution says,” said Franklin County Board chairman Randall Crocker.
Derrick Fletcher of Saline County led the battle to have his county pass a resolution. The veteran objects to language that would block anyone under 21 from buying certain weapons and ammunition.
“These lawmakers have forgotten these people have been deployed at least one time before they are 21,” he said. “These laws would have affected me. I know people who they would affect now.”
He was aware that what counties do might not change what the state legislature does, but “at least my conscience would be clear knowing I have tried.”
A variation of the legislation is being proposed in Deschutes County, Oregon.
“Our Second Amendment has been attacked over and over. It’s time for us to take the offensive and stop all of this,” said Jerrad Robison, who is seeking a referendum on his proposal, according to the Bend Source.
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