On April 16, the Board of Supervisors in Effingham County—a 480-square-mile region in southern Illinois with roughly 35,000 residents—voted 8 to 1 to declare itself a “gun sanctuary.” The measure’s wording states that no county employee can enforce state laws that, “…unconstitutionally restrict the Second Amendment.”
On Monday, the County Board in nearby Jefferson County unanimously followed suit with a measure nearly identical to Effingham’s. Board member Randy Edwards told WSIL TV, “The state of Illinois is trying to take our rights away and I’m totally against that…” The county, also in a Land of Lincoln where Chicago casts a long political shadow, encompasses 584 square miles and nearly 40,000 residents.
The moves come on the heels of an April 2 ordinance passed by the Deerfield Village Board—25 miles north, well inside the Windy City’s shade and home to 19,000 people—that bans ownership, possession, sale or manufacturing of standard-capacity magazines, AR-15s and other modern sporting rifles. Resident Dan Cox told politicians at the meeting, “You are the bureaucrats Thomas Jefferson warned us about.” Failure to remove the firearms and magazines by June 13 will result in a $1,000 fine, per day of violation.
Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler told Fox News the gun sanctuary declaration was largely symbolic and specifically crafted to avoid interference with any current or future law enforcement duties. Over in Jefferson County, Board Chairman Steve Draege explained to reporters, “We’re just trying to send a message to our legislators that we are not in favor of those bills that are before them that are restricting the rights of gun owners.”
Perry County, also in Illinois, may also add its name to the growing list of gun sanctuary counties. Guns Save Life, with NRA-ILA support, has already filed suit against the Deerfield Village measure.