SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois Sheriff’s Association on Tuesday officially staked out a position against the state’s ban on certain semi-automatic weapons in federal court.
According to The Center Square, the sheriff’s association filed an amicus brief in support of the four federal lawsuits challenging the state’s gun ban.
Gov. JB Pritzker signed the ban into law on January 10th. It bans the sale or possession of more than 170 semi-automatic weapons.
Gun owners who own guns on the list may keep them under the new law but must register them with the Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024. Anyone who fails to register their guns could be charged with a Class 2 felony.
Sheriffs from Winnebago, Ogle, Stephenson, Lee, DeKalb, Boone and other counties across the state said they would not enforce the ban, saying it goes against the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to bear arms.
On January 11th, Stephenson County Sheriff Steve Stovall said, “Let me be clear, this piece of legislation will do nothing to make our communities safer! Criminals don’t follow the laws, that is what makes them criminals. This unconstitutional legislation infringes on our 2nd Amendment Rights, which makes any enforcement of HB5471 contrary to my oath of office.”
“It’s not the intent of law enforcement to make law-abiding citizens criminals,” Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle said at the time. “They have a right to defend themselves, they have a right to own and possess firearms, and that’s upheld in the Constitution. And, as your Constitutional Sheriff, that is something we have planned to continue with.”
“The ISA supports efforts to make Illinois and all of its citizens safe, but it also recognizes that those efforts must be within the bounds set by the Constitution. HB 5471 crosses those bounds, and in doing so, demands that sheriffs enforce a law that deprives the law-abiding citizens they serve of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, including sport and self-defense,” the ISA’s filing said. “Because law enforcement should never be compelled to violate the constitutional rights of Illinois citizens, the ISA supports Plaintiffs’ action to enjoin the implementation of HB 5471 and to have the statute declared unconstitutional.”
The state has been ordered to respond to the allegations that the law violates the Second Amendment by March 16th, with oral arguments to be heard in the case beginning April 12th.