Illinois county votes to become 'sanctuary' for gun owners

The board of a Central Illinois county on Monday overwhelmingly passed a resolution declaring the region a “sanctuary county” for gun owners.

The measure, described as largely symbolic by Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler, was approved 8-1 in a public meeting.

“I would just like to send a statement to Springfield that I don’t want them to be infringing on our Second Amendment rights as legal gun owners,” Effingham County board member Joe Thoele said.

The resolution, as described by the Effingham Daily News, would bar county employees from enforcing unconstitutional actions passed by state lawmakers, though local Sheriff Dave Mahon said the move would not control his office. Area media reported about 70 attended the meeting with some speaking both for and against the resolution.

The move was inspired by the Iroquois County Board’s passage of a resolution opposing pending anti-gun legislation or “any bill where the 100th Illinois General Assembly desires to restrict the Individual right of US Citizens as protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution,” last month.

Effingham County is about 75 miles southeast of Springfield, the Illinois State Capitol, where gun control bills ranging from restricting those under age 21 from purchasing guns to bans on bump stocks have been under debate.

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