Sheriffs from Kankakee County, Boone County, Winnebago County and McHenry County all posted similar messages on social media that they specifically will not comply with or enforce the portion of the law that requires lawful gun owners to register their firearms with the state highway patrol; while the new law bans so-called "assault weapons," residents who own them can keep them but they must be registered, according to NBC Chicago.
"The recently passed law, HB 5471, will outlaw the sale, manufacture, possession and purchase of 'assault-style' weapons, while also limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns," The Daily Caller reports.
Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey posted his message on Facebook last week, noting that one of his jobs is to protect and defend the Constitution, which includes the Second Amendment's guaranteed right to "keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property."
“As the custodian of the jail and chief law enforcement official for Kankakee County, that neither myself nor my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the State, nor will we be arresting or housing law abiding individuals that have been charged solely with non-compliance of this Act,” Downey noted further in his post, calling the law a “clear violation” of the Second Amendment.
McHenry County Sheriff Robb Tadelman, meanwhile, also said his office won't be enforcing the gun registration portion of the new law.
“Neither myself nor my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the state, nor will we be arresting or housing law abiding individuals that have been charged solely with non-compliance with this act,” Tadelman noted in his own social media post, according to NBC Chicago.
The Democrat-controlled state legislature imposed a ban on a variety of semiautomatic guns, magazines, and devices that allow a weapon to fire more quickly on Monday.
The Protecting Illinois Communities Act passed the Illinois Senate on Monday night by a vote margin of 34–20. The bill makes it illegal for Illinois residents to purchase, transfer, or manufacture “assault weapons” and extended magazines. According to the bill’s language, an “assault weapon” is a semiautomatic rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and has a pistol grip or thumbhole stock, a flash suppressor, a grenade launcher, a barrel shroud, or other characteristics.
In a letter posted to Facebook, Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen wrote that he plans to follow his “morals, beliefs, and obligations concerning protecting the rights” of the citizens of his county.
“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,” McMillen wrote. “But, as your Greene County Sheriff, I cannot sit back and let laws 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.”
Iroquois County Sheriff Clinton J. Perzee noted in a letter of his own, “The right to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalienable right by the people. I, among many others, believe that HB 5471 is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
His letter followed a Dec. 13 vote by the Iroquois County Board implementing a measure that forbids the “use of county funds, appropriation, personnel, or property” to enforce the law, The Epoch Times noted further.