Illinois sheriffs push back against newly imposed assault weapon registration requirements: report
A small faction of sheriffs in the state of Illinois is pushing back against the state's ban on assault rifles, an initiative being enforced by Illinois Gov. Jay Pritzker's (D) office.
According to NBC Chicago, a legal battle is brewing in the state as some believe the newly passed piece of legislation —House-Bill 5471, also referred to as the Protect Illinois Communities Act— violates Second Amendment rights.
Per the news outlet, a number of law enforcement officials in the state have weighed in with their assessments of the bill offering relatively critical opinions of it.
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McHenry County, Ill. Sheriff Robb Tadelman took to social media with his concerns following the passing of the bill. “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,” he said.
Other Illinois law enforcement officials in various counties also weighed in with similar concerns, namely Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey, Sheriff Jack Harlan in Boone County, and Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana, according to NBC Chicago.
In fact, Downey released a statement on the sheriff department's Facebook page addressing the new bill. Some Republican lawmakers have also echoed law enforcement officials' concerns.
“We will not comply with this legislation because we don’t have to,” said former Illinois State Rep and Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey “Our Constitution protects us. The sponsors of this bill may have won a temporary victory today, but they will lose because they cannot get around the rights we have guaranteed in our Constitution.”
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Despite the critical takes on the new law, Pritzker and his office are standing firm in support of it.
“Anybody who doesn’t comply, there are consequences for that,” Pritzker said. “You don’t get to choose which laws you comply with in the state of Illinois. The State Police is responsible for enforcement, as are all law enforcement all across this state. They will, in fact, do their job or they won’t be in their job.”
Per the news outlet, the governor's office also described the pushback as "'political grandstanding at its worst,' and said that sheriffs and departments that refuse to enforce the ban are 'in violation of their oath of office.'"
“The assault weapons ban is the law of Illinois. The General Assembly passed the bill and the governor signed it into law to protect children in schools, worshippers at church and families at parades from the fear of sudden mass murder,” a spokesperson said. “Sheriffs have a constitutional duty to uphold the laws of the state, not pick and choose which laws they support and when.”
Pritzker’s spokesperson also said, “We’re confident that this law will hold up to any future legal challenges."
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