Illinois gun owners and rights activists are fired up. Protests are being organized against proposed gun control legislation that would outlaw so-called “assault weapons,” according to one of the state’s leading Second Amendment advocates, who says it’s part of the “sanctuary” movement, and it’s gathering momentum.
According to the Belleville News-Democrat, there are currently 26 counties in the state that consider themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, said the focus of current concern is Senate Bill 107. A public meeting on that measure drew hundreds of citizens to a meeting Monday in Enfield’s Family Life Center. It was, according to WEHT News, “standing room only” at the meeting, where Republican State Sen. Dale Righter warned the audience, “We should be alarmed.”
Critics argue that the measure would outlaw virtually every semiautomatic firearm now in private ownership. If the bill becomes law, gun owners would have 300 days to register their affected guns with the state police or face criminal prosecution.
Pearson said the bill is “locked up and not moving but we don’t know for how long.”
It may be one of the reasons he is expecting thousands of gun activists to descend on the state capitol in Springfield March 27 for the annual IGOLD pro-rights demonstration.
According to WFIE News, SB 107 was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and State Rep. Darren Bailey encouraged citizens to call their legislators to oppose the measure. White County Sheriff Doug Meier reportedly told the crowd that the Illinois Sheriff’s Association is opposed to the legislation.
However, that’s not a guarantee it will be defeated. Sheriffs in Washington state opposed gun control Initiative 1639 last fall and it passed. Sheriffs in New Mexico are lined up against gun control legislation there, but with Democrats controlling the Legislature, they are definitely in a fight.
On the other hand, lawmen in all three states have declared they will not enforce gun control laws they think are unconstitutional. In Washington state, that has prompted anti-gun State Attorney General Bob Ferguson to send an open letter to the sheriffs in his state they must enforce the law or face possible consequences.
In Illinois, according to Pearson, increasing numbers of people have decided “they don’t want to be ruled by Chicago.” As in other states, politics in Illinois is frequently dominated by the largest city, which typically is dominated by Democrat politicians. Washington is the same way with Seattle and Oregon likewise with Portland.
Pearson will be speaking at a rally this weekend in Effingham, where he expects upwards of 1,500 people to attend.
Under Article 1, Section 22 of the Illinois State Constitution, “Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Illinois was the last state in the nation to hold out against allowing concealed carry. Lawsuits filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association forced the state to adopt a concealed carry statute.
How do you think gun owners in Illinois can prevent this new legislation from becoming law? Will protests be enough? Will sanctuary counties be the answer? Share your answers in the comment section.
Dave Workman is the Senior Editor at the Liberty Park Press.
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