Pritzker signed the Protect Illinois Communities Act into law on Jan. 10, which bans the distribution and sale of “assault weapons,” high-capacity magazines, and switches in Illinois. Those who own such guns are expected to register them with Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024.
However, at least 74 sheriff’s departments have publicly stated they will not enforce the ban, stating it infringes on the Second Amendment, according to ABC News.
Edwards County Sheriff Darby Boewe wrote in a statement that part of his duty is to protect the right to keep and bear arms.
“The right to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty, and property is regarded as an inalienable right by the people,” Boewe wrote. “Therefore, as the custodian of the jail and chief law enforcement officer for Edwards County, that neither myself or my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the State, nor will we be arresting or housing individuals that have been charged solely with noncompliance of this act.”
The statement was drafted by Illinois Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Jim Kaitschuk, according to ABC News, and sent out to sheriff’s departments to use or make edits if desired.
DuPage, Sangamon, and Iroquois counties are among the 74 departments that have released similarly modified statements. Iroquois County Sheriff Clinton Perzee said he would not use his jails to detain people exercising their civil rights, according to the Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
At an event in Quincy on Jan. 12, Pritzker told the crowd that law enforcement needs to enforce the law or leave the field.
“They took an oath of office to uphold the law. As law enforcement, that’s their job, and I expect them to do that job,” Pritzker said at the event.
Several counties have reportedly designated themselves “Second Amendment sanctuary cities,” something that Pritzker dismissed at the Quincy event.
“You can have all the resolutions and declarations that you want. The reality is that the laws that are on the books, you don’t get to choose which ones people are going to follow,” Pritzker said.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Pritzker’s office for comment.