Illinois sheriff departments refuse to enforce Governor Pritzker’s new gun law, citing constitutional rights

The law, called the 'Protect Illinois Communities Act,' bans the manufacture or possession of certain rapid-fire rifles, pistols, .50-caliber guns, and some attachments.

Illinois sheriff departments refuse to enforce Governor Pritzker’s new gun law, citing constitutional rights
Susan Stephens, WNIJ
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Several sheriff's departments in Illinois have announced that they will not comply with a new gun law signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker earlier this week.

The law, called the "Protect Illinois Communities Act," bans the manufacture or possession of certain rapid-fire rifles, pistols, .50-caliber guns, and some attachments.

Republican lawmakers opposed the legislation, arguing that it would not prevent crime and goes against U.S. Supreme Court rulings involving Second Amendment rights. Lawyers also have signaled that the new law would severely restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.

County sheriff's departments have responded by pledging not to enforce the law, which would include forcing law-abiding gun owners to register their firearms with the state.

In a letter, Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen wrote that he would follow his "morals, beliefs, and obligations concerning protecting the rights" of the county citizens.

He said, “These types of laws put law enforcement officers and prosecutors in a very precarious box, with us having to decide to not enforce laws that were passed by government bodies."

"But, as your Greene County Sheriff, I cannot sit back and let laws that strip Greene County citizens of their constitutional rights, and not take a stance supporting the citizens against a government that wants to trample on their rights,” he added.

Clinton County Sheriff Dan Travous, Macoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl, and Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing echoed his remarks, stating their departments would not conduct any investigations or arrests pertaining to the law, sharing the same belief that citizens have an inalienable right by the people of this country to keep and bear arms for “defense, liberty, and property.”

Madison County Sheriff Jeff Connor and Madison County State's Attorney Tom Haine shared a statement noting that authorities expect the law to face legal challenges and "trust that this legislative overreach will not stand."

They added, "In the meantime, we remain focused on reducing violent crime. Therefore, pending further direction by the courts, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office will not expend its limited resources to check whether otherwise law-abiding gun owners have registered their weapons with the State, nor will the Madison County Sheriff’s Office be arresting or housing otherwise law-abiding individuals solely due to non-compliance with [the law]."

The Daily Wire reported:

Pritzker threatened the employment of state law enforcement if authorities refused to follow the new law during the Tuesday press conference.

“The reality is that the state police is responsible for enforcement, as are all law enforcement, all across the state,” Pritzker said. “And they will, in fact, do their job or they won’t be in their job.”

Devore Law Office announced that the firm has partnered with other legal professionals to take action against Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly for passing the new gun law.

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