DUPAGE COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — Three Democrat Illinois lawmakers are urging one of dozens of county sheriffs to enforce the newly minted semi-automatic firearms ban.
Dozens of sheriffs across the state have said publicly they won’t enforce the ban, including sheriffs from Winnebago, Ogle, Stephenson, Lee, DeKalb, and Boone counties, saying it violates the oath of office they took to defend the Constitution.
The new law makes more than 170 guns and magazines illegal because the state deems them “assault weapons.” It also requires current owners of the weapons to register with the Illinois State Police before January 1st, 2024.
“As the custodian of the jail and chief law enforcement official for DuPage County, 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 individuals that have been arrested solely with noncompliance of this Act,” Mendrick said, echoing statements from the other sheriffs.
“As the custodian of the jail and chief law enforcement official for Stephenson County, 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 arrested solely for non-compliance of this Act,” he continued.
On Monday, Reps. Sean Casten (D-6th Dist), Delia Ramirez (D-3rd Dist.), and Bill Foster (D-11th Dist.) called out DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, according to The Center Square.
“His actions will make future mass shootings more likely,” Casten said.
“There is absolutely nothing that we are doing or not doing that would make a mass shooting more accessible in DuPage County,” Mendrick responded. “In fact, I have asked on multiple occasions to increase penalties on all existing gun crimes, but it does not appear that they want to have that conversation.”
After the sheriffs announced said they wouldn’t enforce the new gun ban, Gov. JB Pritzker had a strong response: Comply or hit the road.
“As are all law enforcement all across our state and they will in fact do their job or they won’t be in their job,” Pritzker said.
Four separate lawsuits have been filed against the ban, which went into effect on January 1st. A judge issued a restraining order which applies to 866 people, including gun stores, who filed the first lawsuit in Effingham County.
A federal lawsuit, brought by the Illinois State Rifle Association and a number of gun stores statewide, claims the law violates the U.S. Constitution.