Rural Illinois Counties Declare Themselves ‘Sanctuary’ For Gun Owners

“If our legislators can pass a sanctuary state bill for immigrants, why can’t we have a sanctuary county for firearms for Effingham County?”

Gun Owners

With the debate on gun control heating up across the country, several rural counties in Illinois were so  scared for their Second Amendment rights they decided pass so-called “sanctuary county” resolutions to protect their rights as gun owners.

As the Associated Press reported, lawmakers in Illinois are mulling over a host of gun control bills, which include introducing new age restrictions for certain firearms and banning bump stocks. However, the residents of these gun sanctuary counties felt threatened by the possible measures to curb gun violence and decided to take a stand.

The Effingham County was the first to pass the resolution, followed by at least four other counties.

“If the Government of the State of Illinois shall infringe upon the inalienable rights granted by the Second Amendment, Effingham County shall become a 'sanctuary county' for all firearms unconstitutionally prohibited by the government of the State of Illinois,” the resolution stated.

The use of the word “sanctuary” here is also pretty deliberate.

“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,” David Campbell, vice chairman of the Effingham County Board, told the Newsweek.

In another interview, he said: “If our legislators can pass a sanctuary state bill for immigrants, why can't we have a sanctuary county for firearms for Effingham County?”

Well, for starters, living under constant fear of being deported to a country that one fled due to violence and poverty is not same as losing access to military grade weapon that is increasingly being used by mass murderers to commit massacres.

“We’re just stealing the language that sanctuary cities use,” explained Bryan Kibler, the Effingham County prosecutor who came up with the idea. “We wanted to … get across that our Second Amendment rights are slowly being stripped away.”

It is important to point measures such as new age restrictions are not equal to one’s guns being snatched away by the authorities.

Campbell told the Associated Press “at least 20 Illinois counties and local officials in Oregon and Washington have asked for copies of Effingham County’s resolution.”

These resolutions might be largely symbolic and unable to challenge state or federal law, but the truth is, their passage is problematic nonetheless.

“I don’t think you can say, ‘I don’t agree with the law so I won’t enforce it,'” said Kathleen Willis, a Democratic state representative from Chicago. “I think it sends the wrong message.”

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Joshua Lott

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