Illinois Counties Band Together, Threaten to Become ‘Sanctuary’ Cities, But for Gun Owners

At least five counties in Illinois have told state legislators that if gun restriction bills are passed, they’ll declare their counties “sanctuaries” and gun owners won’t abide by the laws. 

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According to the Associated Press (AP), the five counties passed resolutions utilizing the same “sanctuary” language as various cities have to convey that local law enforcement would not comply with federal immigration law. 

“It’s a buzzword, a word that really gets attention,” David Campbell, the vice chairman of the Effingham County Board, told the AP. “With all these sanctuary cities, we just decided to turn it around to protect our Second Amendment rights.” 

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The concept of the “sanctuary” for gun owners was met with mixed reactions, with some people being all for the idea and others claiming that isn’t how the “sanctuary” concept works. 

Among the bills facing the Democratic-controlled Illinois legislature are proposals to: 

  • Raise minimum age requirements for certain weapons
  • Banning bump stocks
  • Limiting the size of gun magazines 
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Kathleen Willis, a Democratic state representative from suburban Chicago who sponsored some of the gun legislation, told the AP: 

“I don’t think you can say, ‘I don’t agree with the law so I won’t enforce it’ … I think it sends the wrong message.”

While the resolutions are largely symbolic, Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said counties are using the language as a way to show their resentment of how Chicago treats the rest of the state and gun owners. 

Watch the video below:

Effingham County’s top prosecutor, Bryan Kibler, who was the brain behind the idea, explained to Fox News’ “Fox & Friends First” that he came up with the “sanctuary” concept after he felt his rights were under attack.

“We’re tired of seeing all these new House bills coming through attacking our Second Amendment rights,” he said. “[We] decided it’s time for someone to take a hard stand.” 

He added during an interview with the AP that the counties wanted to get the message across “that our Second Amendment rights are slowly being stripped away.”

Campbell said 20 Illinois counties and local officials in both Oregon and Washington have asked for copies of the resolution. 

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