Illinois assault weapons ban: County sheriffs fight back, rifle organization threatens lawsuit

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 9:28 PM CST
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OGLE, Ill. (WIFR) - Sheriffs across the Stateline push back after Illinois becomes the latest state to ban assault weapons. This means anyone who buys, sells or delivers these guns could land an expensive fine.

“If you possess a firearm and you’re using it lawfully whether it’s registered with the state or not. We will not enforce that portion of legislation,” said Brian VanVickle, who is the Sheriff for Ogle County.

VanVickle says he has serious constitutional concerns about the ban. He believes the second amendment is being taken away and he’ll push back.

“It impacts the law abiding citizens and turns our citizens into potential victims. We’re not going to go out and check to make sure your documents are correct,” said VanVickle, “We’re not going to house people that were arrested by other agencies unless there’s a court order to do so.”

Pritzker warns law enforcement about what will happen if they don’t enforce the new law.

“Well you don’t get to choose which laws you comply with in the state of Illinois, let’s be clear. The state police is responsible for enforcement as are all law enforcement all across the state and they will in fact do their job or they won’t be in their job,” said Pritzker.

It’s not just a few county sheriff’s that are fighting back, the Illinois State Rifle Association is fired up and is ready to take its complaints to court.

“We’ll take all of the unconstitutional parts and we’ll sue under those parts, but that actually makes up most of the bill. There’s very little of this bill that’s left except maybe the first and last sentence that’s constitutional,” said Richard Pearson, an executive director for the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Pearson says the lawsuit is still pending and a timeline isn’t set just yet, but he is ready to fight and says he knows it will win. He says he will win for the 2.5 million Americans that this bill will affect.

Besides Ogle County, multiple other counties have decided to fight against the ban. Counties such as: Lee, Stephenson, Winnebago, Joe Davies, and Boone.