Twenty-six Illinois counties have passed a “gun sanctuary” measure with wording designed to symbolically prevent their staff and sheriff’s department from enforcing state laws that violate the Second Amendment. At press time the list included Brown, Christian, Clark, Clay, Cumberland, Douglas, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Lawrence, Monroe, Perry, Pope, Saline, Shelby, Washington, Wayne, White and Woodford, according to the Peoria Journal Star. Williamson County is putting the question to its voters.
State Rep. Chad McGinnis told the newspaper he had no idea a measure designed to simply send a message would gain traction across the state. “I never imagined my resolution would do what it did,” he said. “I lit the spark and the fuel was already laid.”
The State Journal-Register’s explains the movement is gaining favor because, “County officials fear their legislators won’t be able to stop the passage of gun restrictions because they are outnumbered by lawmakers from in and around Chicago … .”
A measure passed by Deerfield—just a spit down the road from the Windy City—in April would have made ownership and possession of an “assault rifle” [SIC] illegal within the village on June 13. Enforcement was delayed by a legal challenge backed by NRA, and resulting restraining order until the legality is decided in court. The setback didn’t deter the village’s elected trustees from modifying the ordinance—designed to emulate a measure passed in 2013 by Chicago suburb Highland Park—and adding a magazine-capacity limit of 10 rounds.
On May 31, state legislators passed a trio of restrictive measures, including one that NRA/ILA explains amounts to a gun registration and puts added hardship on already federally licensed firearm dealers in the state. In a July 9 local newscast, Gov. Bruce Rauner refused to answer if he was going to sign any of them into law.
More than a quarter of the Land of Lincoln’s 102 counties are now declared “gun sanctuaries.” In late May, Farmer City, Ill., joined the movement.