Pro-gun sanctuary cities causing rifts in state, local governments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
You don’t have to be a Chicagoan to understand the great divide between the city and the rest of Illinois anymore. An ironic twist to the word "sanctuary" has made it easier for all.
Known for its liberal politics and being one of the leading "sanctuary cities" in the country concerning immigration, it has a very different mindset than rural and some parts of suburban Illinois. This fact is now clearly reflected in the move made by some local officials to transform parts of the state into gun sanctuaries.
What does that mean?
When several rural Illinois counties declared themselves as a "sanctuary" status for gun owners, they aimed to put the Democratic-controlled Legislature on notice.
Several counties recently passed resolutions to this effect, and a few others seem quite proactive to follow the same route. It shows the stark rural-urban political divide in the state where county officials are not in agreement with lawmakers from in and around Chicago who usually vote for the passage of stricter gun restrictions.
Illinois is not the only state to imitate this idea. Areas of Washington, Oregon, and New Mexico have done the same. Democrats hold the governorship and both chambers of the state legislatures in all four states.
New gun laws could mean new age restrictions for certain weapons, a size limit for gun magazines, and a bump stock ban, among others. Defiant U.S. sheriffs are refusing to enforce these gun-control laws, which they believe infringe on Second Amendment rights.
Organizers of these pro-gun sanctuaries said that they would allow people to keep their firearms, even if they run afoul of new state laws. In states where the legal age for gun ownership is raised to 21, authorities may still allow underage gun-ownership.
Backers of the sanctuary movement say that there is nationwide interest in the agenda and they are already talking with activists in New York, Idaho, California, and Iowa. They are hopeful that the loose alliance they have formed to share and discuss strategies or texts of resolutions will become a formal agenda soon.
Their move has already divided people and is setting up a potential clash between state and local officials. A majority of voters in these states support raising the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21, increasing the waiting period to buy such guns to 10 days, creating a red-flag law to keep guns out of the hands of people deemed dangerous by a judge, and enhancing background checks.
State authorities have advised local sheriff to follow through when these laws take effect in July. But sheriffs in rural counties of these states are calling these warnings a "bluff" and have pledged not to enforce them.
The question on every mind is if the resistance lawful. Constitutionally, state legislatures make laws and courts interpret them, not local sheriffs. Proponents of gun control say that this attitude shows a disrespect for the government.
Local sheriffs say that sanctuary cities have been flouting laws and refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities for years now. They have simply stolen their language used the buzzword that really gets attention to push their agenda.
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