The Illinois gun control status quo is facing some much needed pushback.
Williamson County State’s Attorney Brandon Zanotti recently declared that he will not enforce gun laws that impede on law-abiding citizens right to defend themselves. Zanotti made his intentions clear during a recent town hall meeting:
“If you’re not a felon and you’re not using it for criminal purposes we are not going to prosecute you for it.”
Zanotti’s statement was in response to an assault weapons ban bill, Senate Bill 107, that’s making progress in the Illinois Senate. This bill would ban the possession, delivery, sale, and purchase of assault weapons. Possession of a so-called “assault weapon” would be a Class 3 Felony under SB 107.
Three lawmakers Representatives Terry Bryant, R-Murphysboro, Dave Severin, R-Benton, and Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis echoed Attorney Zanotti’s sentiments during the same town hall meeting. As Representatives of rural districts in Southern Illinois, they are more in touch with middle American values such as gun ownership than their urban counterparts in Chicago.
Sadly, politicians and interest groups in massive urban centers like Chicago end up calling the shots. Chicago’s gun control policies in tandem with questionable policing practices have made it one of the most violent cities in America. The rest of Illinois obviously wants no part of these policies.
It’s no secret Illinois is one of the most anti-gun states in the Union, with Guns & Ammo magazine placing it in 41st place according to its 2018 rankings. Illinois was penalized for not allowing reciprocity for out-of-state permits and passing a slew of gun control laws in 2018 which extended waiting periods for long guns and established red flag gun confiscation orders.
Thankfully, people are fighting back. 26 counties became firearms sanctuaries in 2018. In these countries, political officials and law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal and state officials in enforcing gun control. Attorney General Zanotti and the three lawmakers from Southern Illinois are now taking a page from the 26 other firearms sanctuaries’ playbook.
In pro-gun circles, it’s commonly stated that gun activism in rabidly anti-gun states is futile. Although somewhat true in a legislative sense, there are still ways to stand up to unjust gun control laws outside the legislative process. Creating firearms sanctuaries and this latest move by Attorney Zanotti are solid alternatives.
Even if these moves don’t change legislation on the books, it does breed a culture of contempt towards gun control abuse. When gun control elites know they can run roughshod over our rights without any pushback, they will continue with their unconstitutional ways.
The gun control status quo will come to an end once people step up and reject all forms of gun control. Nullifying and refusing to enforce state policies at the local level is a good first step.
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