This week, Democrat Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker threatened to fire police officers in the state who do not enforce a newly-enacted gun control law that outlaws sporting rifles and other so-called “assault weapons” and “rapid firing devices.”
"The fact that, yes, there are people who are trying to politically grand stand who want to make a name for themselves by claiming that they will not comply. But the reality is that the state police is responsible for enforcement, as are all law enforcement...and they will in fact do their job or they won’t be in their job,” Pritzker said during a press conference on Tuesday.
As Townhall covered, Pritzker signed the legislation, the “Protect Illinois Communities Act,” after it passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly. The law bans semi-automatic sporting rifles, as well as "high-capacity" magazines and “rapid-firing” devices. The ban impacts 2.5 million legal gun owners in the state.
“[For] too long people have lived in fear of being gunned down in schools, while worshipping, at celebrations or in their own front yards. This legislation will stop the spread of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches and make our state a safer place for all,” Prizker said in a statement about the law.
"No Illinoisan, no matter their zip code, should have to go through life fearing their loved one could be the next in an ever-growing list of victims of mass shootings," the governor added in his statement.
After the legislation passed, sheriffs in parts of the state said that they will not enforce it.
According to Chicago outlet Fox 32, McHenry County Sheriff Robb Tadelman said that his office will not enforce the law, describing it as a “clear violation of the Second Amendment.”
“Part of my duties that I accepted upon being sworn into office was to protect the rights provided to all of us in the Constitution,” Tadelman said in the statement. “The right to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalienable right by the people.”
Several other county sheriffs from across the state shared that they will not enforce the law, noting that it clearly violates the U.S. Constitution, KSDK reported.
Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen wrote that he would not enforce the ban, noting that he “[believes] that this stance will be the stance of many other Sheriff's throughout the State of Illinois.”
Predictably, firearm sales spiked at some gun stores in the days leading up to the ban. At Maxon Shooter’s Supplies in Des Plaines, Illinois, handgun sales doubled and rifle sales were 10 times what they were over the past year in the days leading up to the gun ban, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“There’s been quite a rush of people trying to get in under the wire,” store owner Dan Eldridge told the outlet. “Obviously, the law-abiding gun owners are concerned. And they’re voting with their wallets.”
Eldridge is also the president of a state association of gun owners, and told the outlet that he will hold onto his “now-illegal stock” until he can sell it again. Eldridge and other pro-Second Amendment supporters plan to pursue legal action against the gun control law.
“The gun-rights people are going to win,” he said. “The law infringes on constitutionally protected activity.”