A county with a population of over 30,000 residents has declared itself a Sanctuary for gun owners. The board directed it’s employees on Monday to not enforce any Illinois laws that would “unconstitutionally restrict the Second Amendment.”
The County of Effingham made the stance when gun control legislation has been in full swing in many parts of the Country after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February.
The resolution is mostly symbolic, and cannot force any final decisions.
Sheriff Dave Mahon agreed that it was a county board decision and would not control his office.
Mahon said that if such a potentially unconstitutional law were to be passed by the state, he would consult with the state’s attorney and the legal counsel of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association before deciding what actions to take.
The resolution passed by a vote of 8-1.
The board meeting that saw this resolution also saw one of the largest turnouts from the public. Many had expressed their opinions and only one of five people who spoke were in support of the resolution.
The one person to speak in support was John Haslett, who focused on the attention paid to the AR-15 and the comparative rarity of the shootings by lawful gun owners. He argued that far more people die from tobacco and alcohol use than are killed by people who legally own guns.
“We, as a society, need to stop thinking about things that don’t matter,” Haslett said.
One person opposing the resolution feared that it would encourage people with ‘assault-style weapons’ to move to their county.
[Mike] Sehy said the decision made him realize that the recent First Communion he attended for a grandchild could turn into massacre like Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adult staff were shot and killed.
That’s a little far-fetched, and I hope that Sehy will one day realize that firearms in the hands of responsible citizens is something that we can all benefit from.