Don Babwin of the Associated Press reports that some Illinois counties have opted to use the precise language that Democrats often deploy to signify protection for illegal aliens. But this time conservative counties are letting gun owners know that they are welcome in their jurisdiction without having their second amendment rights violated.
From the Associated Press:
"At least five counties recently passed resolutions declaring themselves sanctuary counties for gun owners — a reference to so-called sanctuary cities such as Chicago that don't cooperate with aspects of federal immigration enforcement.
The resolutions are meant to put the Democratic-controlled Legislature on notice that if it passes a host of gun bills, including new age restrictions for certain weapons, a bump stock ban and size limit for gun magazines, the counties might bar their employees from enforcing the new laws."
Many of these counties' GOP elected leaders believe that if Illinois’ capital passes tighter gun laws, then they will in effect be trampling on the rights of Illinois citizens.
"We're just stealing the language that sanctuary cities use," explained the Effingham County's top prosecutor, Bryan Kibler. "We wanted to get across that our Second Amendment rights are slowly being stripped away,” he added.
Kibler was instrumental in crafting this idea. In short, his message to the state legislature is, "If you pass it we might not pay attention to it."
But, some see the resolutions as more symbolic than anything.
Dave Workman, of the Bellevue, Washington based Second Amendment Foundation, said, "It's like a warning shot across somebody's bow...If you've got four or five counties telling Chicago something, that's significant."
Still, Illinois Democratic leaders worry that the plan will cause unsettling precedent. "I don't think you can say, 'I don't agree with the law so I won't enforce it,'" said state representative Kathleen Willis. "I think it sends the wrong message."
Indeed, both the sanctuary cities for illegal aliens as well these GOP controlled counties potentially refusing to enforce new gun laws make for some tricky legal qualms in Illinois government. Some could argue both sides of the aisle are being hypocritical. Many would assert that these laws should be challenged in the courts, rather than just ignored.
Regardless, these counties' actions signify the ongoing debate between gun owners and the government across the country.