SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Edwards County Sheriff Darby Boewe, LaSalle County Sheriff Adam C. Diss, Knox County Sheriff Jack C. Harlan, Jr., Wabash County Sheriff J. Derek Morgan, Wayne County Sheriff Chris Otey and White County Sheriff Jordan Weiss announced that they do not plan to enforce the newly enacted assault weapons ban, according to identical letters released Wednesday.
The Protect Illinois Communities Act was passed through the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker this week. It halts the sale of assault weapons in the state of Illinois and requires owners of such weapons to register them with local law enforcement.
Sheriffs Boewe, Diss, Harlan, Morgan, Otey and Weiss have indicated that they will not enforce the law. The Wabash County Sheriff’s Office also posted on Facebook a release from Wabash County State’s Attorney Kelli Storckman joining the sheriff in opposition of House Bill 5471. Below is the text of the messages sent from their offices.
As your sheriff, I wanted to give citizens of [Edwards/LaSalle/Knox/Wabash/Wayne/White] County an update on the recent passage of HB 5471, also known as the Protect Illinois Communities Act.Sheriffs Darby Boewe, Adam C. Diss, Jack C. Harlan, Jr., J. Derek Morgan, Chris Otey and Jordan Weiss
As your duly elected sheriff my job and my office are sworn, in fact, to protect the citizens of [Edwards/LaSalle/Knox/Wabash/Wayne/White] County. This is a job and responsibility that I take with the utmost seriousness.
Part of my duties that I accepted upon being sworn into office was to protect the rights provided to all of us, in the Constitution. One of those enumerated rights is the right of the people to keep and bear arms provided under the 2nd amendment.
The right to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalienable right by the people.
I, among many others, believe that HB 5471 is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.
Therefore, as a Custodian of the Jail and Chief Law Enforcement Official for Edwards/LaSalle/Knox/Wabash/Wayne/White] County, that 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 with non-compliance with this act.
The following visualization shows the Illinois counties that have announced they will not enforce HB 5471:
Gov. JB Pritzker said in his bill-signing press conference that all Illinoisans will be required to follow the law and that there will be no option for non-compliance.