Several conservative Illinois lawmakers have a taken a page from the progressive's playbook to protect gun rights by creating "sanctuary" counties for gun owners.
Effingham County started the trend and became the first to adopt the resolution last month. At least four others have followed suit with an aim at putting the Democratic-controlled state Legislature on notice about gun restriction measures the state has introduced.
“We’re just stealing the language that sanctuary cities use,” Bryan Kibler, Effingham County’s top prosecutor who came up with the idea, told WGN-TV.
The station said it is not immediately clear which counties have passed resolutions to protect gun owners' Second Amendment rights.
What does sanctuary county for gun owners mean?
Sanctuary counties might prohibit law enforcement from enforcing new firearm laws, much in the way "sanctuary" cities, counties and states, have refused to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials, the WGN report said.
“It’s a buzzword, a word that really gets attention. With all these sanctuary cities, we just decided to turn it around to protect our Second Amendment rights,” said David Campbell, vice chairman of the Effingham County Board.
What gun restriction laws have Illinois lawmakers proposed?
Lawmakers have proposed new age restrictions for purchasing certain firearms, a ban on bump stocks and a size-limit for magazines.
“We wanted to … get across that our Second Amendment rights are slowly being stripped away,” Kibler said.
Are there more counties considering this?
Campbell said at least 20 Illinois counties, as well as local officials in Oregon and Washington, have requested copies of Effingham County’s resolution.
What do the Democrats say?
State Rep. Kathleen Willis (D), who sponsored some of the gun legislation, said she's concerned about the counties' resolutions, according to the WGN report.
“I don’t think you can say, ‘I don’t agree with the law so I won’t enforce it,'” Willis said, according to the outlet. “I think it sends the wrong message.”
Chicago is a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.
There's a rural-urban divide in the state of Illinois. Liberal lawmakers from in and around Chicago outnumber Rural Republican lawmakers who support President Donald Trump.
“They are trying to make a point that they really resent how the city of Chicago treats the rest of the state and how they’re treated as gun owners,” Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, told WGN.