Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - McCombie speaks - AG Raoul weighs in *** State’s attorney takes local sheriff to task for “unilateral approach” on gun ban law
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*** UPDATED x2 - McCombie speaks - AG Raoul weighs in *** State’s attorney takes local sheriff to task for “unilateral approach” on gun ban law

Friday, Jan 13, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Background is here if you need it. Knox County State’s Attorney Jeremy Karlin

Last night Governor JB Pritzker signed into law HB5471, the Protect Illinois Communities Act. This act placed restrictions on the ability to possess military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The Act goes into effect immediately.

Knox County Sheriff Harlan has issued a statement stating that: 1) He is the chief law enforcement officer of Knox County; 2) That he has decided that the Act is unconstitutional; and 3) he will not enforce the Act or make arrests based on violations of the Act. I disagree with all three of these positions and encourage him to reconsider.

First, while this is largely semantic, Illinois Courts have repeated declared the state’s attorney to be the chief law enforcement officer of the county because he or she decides whether charges are filed. Second, the Protect Illinois Communities Act is presumed constitutional and enforceable until Illinois courts state otherwise. Third, until a court issues such a ruling, a law enforcement officer has an obligation to investigate crimes and enforce the law.

There is a process to address the constitutionality of a newly-enacted law. For example, I joined over 60 state’s attorneys in a law suit seeking that the Pre-Trial Fairness Act be found unconstitutional. A trial court sided with the State’s Attornevs and the issue is now before the Illinois Supreme Court. Until the trial court issued its decision in the last week in December, my office was prepared to enforce the Act starting on its effective date of January 1st. I urge the Sheriff to follow this example.

The sheriffs unilateral approach creates a problematic patchwork of enforcement. Apparently, no arrests or investigations regarding violations of the Act will occur in the county, but can still occur within municipalities like Galesburg, Abingdon, or Knoxville. Further, the Sheriff has pledged not to take into the jail those who are arrested in Galesburg or other cities for violation of this Act. Will those people be then housed in different counties at Knox County’s expense or will they just be released in the community? Furthermore, agree with the statute or not, it does give law enforcement another tool to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals whom we all agree ought not have them. It makes little sense to say that tool will not be used in any circumstance.

As law enforcement officers, our personal convictions regarding a particular act or statute are largely irrelevant. The legislature decides what the law is. The courts decide whether they are constitutional. Its up to the Sheriff and I to enforce the laws.

The Sheriffs conviction regarding the Act should not be allowed to have the effect of law in Knox County. Personally, I agree that the statue has constitutional issues. These need to be decided in a courtroom and not, in the back office of the Sheriffs Department.

The potential for uneven enforcement within counties is a good point. Anyway, discuss.

* Related…

* Sheriffs say they want no role in enforcing state’s assault weapon registry: Dozens of county sheriffs in Illinois — approximately “80-ish,” per Illinois Sheriffs’ Association head Jim Kaitschuck — say they’ll refuse to enforce a provision of a new assault weapons ban that would require owners of such guns to register them with the state. … [Chicago-Kent College of Law professor Harold Krent] contrasted the sheriffs’ move with state’s attorneys’ actions surrounding the cashless bail provision of Illinois’ SAFE-T Act, which was supposed to do away with cash bond in Illinois on Jan. 1. Despite grumbling from dozens of state’s attorneys in Illinois, even the staunchest opponents to the law were at least somewhat prepared to comply with it in the new year, at least until the Illinois Supreme Court stayed the law on Dec. 31, pending a full appeal.

* ADDED: Does Your Sheriff Think He’s More Powerful Than the President?: The Marshall Project collaborated with political scientists Emily Farris and Mirya Holman on a survey of America’s 3,000-plus sheriffs last year. More than 500 responded, and more than a dozen agreed to be interviewed after taking the survey. (Read about our methodology at the end of the accompanying story.) Though only a handful claimed membership in Mack’s group, more than 200 (nearly half of the respondents) agreed with him that their own authority, within their counties, supersedes that of the state or federal government. (Another 132 clicked “neutral.”) More than 300 — which account for one-tenth of America’s roughly 3,000 sheriffs — said they are willing to place themselves between a higher government authority and their constituents, an action they call “interposition.”

[Hat tip: JS Mill]

*** UPDATE 1 *** Attorney General Kwame Raoul was asked today “what can be done to protect the assault weapons ban and how you continue to address those sheriffs?” His response

First of all, as Attorney General, I get to weigh in to my legislators as to what our opinion is on pending legislation. Sheriffs have a Sheriffs’ Association. They have an opportunity to do the same.

But once the legislature passes legislation and the governor attaches a signature to it, it’s the law of the land that they have the duty that they’ve sworn an oath to enforce.

I will say also that as law enforcement agencies, there’s overlapping jurisdiction as well. So if they don’t do their jobs, there are other people available to do the job.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Mark Maxwell asked House Republican Leader Tony McCombie a very good question

Maxwell: During the pandemic and the use of the Governor’s executive pandemic powers, we saw a lot of law enforcement officials say ‘We choose not to recognize this assertion of power because it didn’t go through the legislature.’ They they saw it as executive overreach. Just this week, the legislature wrote new laws banning assault weapons, and the governor signed it into law, going through that proper process. And yet again, we have some law enforcement officials saying they won’t enforce the assault weapons ban. Do you fear that undermines the legitimacy of the legislature?

Leader McCombie: No, I don’t think so. I think that’s the question of the Constitution. In the bill, there’s nothing in there saying how they’re supposed to find these guns, how they’re going to go into people’s homes. Also, I believe the majority of the people believe in the Second Amendment and support the Second Amendment and that’s why they’re not going to do that. This bill will go to the courts for sure. And if it comes out the courts the favor of Second Amendment folks, they will come back and they will try to write another bill. This will be a never ending process. But this still, and we need to be honest, this is not going to do anything, this bill is not going to do anything about the root causes. It’s not going to stop gun crimes in Chicago or anywhere else across the state. And if we don’t get together and start addressing those issues, then this will never stop.

COVID times: We will not enforce this executive order because it didn’t go through the legislature!

Now: We will not enforce this duly passed law!

       

94 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:00 am:

    ===The Sheriffs conviction regarding the Act should not be allowed to have the effect of law in Knox County. Personally, I agree that the statue has constitutional issues. These need to be decided in a courtroom and not, in the back office of the Sheriffs Department.===

    Ball game… plus this…

    ===First, while this is largely semantic, Illinois Courts have repeated declared the state’s attorney to be the chief law enforcement officer of the county because he or she decides whether charges are filed===

    These Roscoe P. Coltrane types that want or think they are “all powerful” when in actuality when they ain’t chasin’ the Duke boys, they are wearing their mirrored glasses looking for folks “not from around here”.

    Knox County State’s Attorney Jeremy Karlin Knows the score.


  2. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:03 am:

    The Sheriffs would have been better served to not directly refuse enforcement, and rather let folks read between the lines that they are taking a light touch on enforcement. With 67 counties declared 2A sanctuary countries - it would be easily inferred. With the one-year waiting period, the only “investigations” that would potentially be ongoing would be for illegal sales of banned sporting rifles, something that I assume Sheriffs are not routinely involved in.


  3. - Stephanie Kollmann - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:05 am:

    Sheriffs are talking out of their 10-gallon hats. They are not ultimately in charge of who is put in the jails they run. Courts are. Like all law enforcement, they can choose not to make arrests, but they can’t override prosecutor/grand jury charging decisions or pretrial orders of a court. And, as this statement demonstrates, many prosecutors aren’t going to put up with fringe fantasies about being the real boss.


  4. - Frederick - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:13 am:

    Just like the safety act,a bill that wasn’t vetted and rammed through for political purposes…now clean up the mess


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:16 am:

    ===now clean up the mess===

    What exactly is the mess?

    Sheriffs not understanding what Jeremy Karlin understands?


  6. - Emmerder - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:17 am:

    People working in law enforcement with inflated egos who think the law doesn’t apply to them? You don’t see that every day. /s


  7. - Jerry - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:18 am:

    We’ll see how well the sheriff knows the Constitution if someone from one of the states that regulate Women’s Bodies comes to Illinois for their health care. Bet he follows the letter of the law!


  8. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:21 am:

    I advised my friends that say they’ll refuse to comply to be careful. Despite what the sheriff’s say there are plenty of other law enforcement officers and I hate to say they don’t always treat everyone the same.


  9. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:23 am:

    The “mess” was on July 4th in Highland Park. The “mess” was blood in the streets of a parade. The courts will decide what is constitutional… and this law is an effort to clean up the mess the proliferation of weapons of war in the wrong hands has enabled.


  10. - Frederick - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:24 am:

    What exactly is the mess?

    Sheriffs not understanding what Jeremy Karlin understands?

    Lets start with the law is effective immediately…and now isp is required to register guns,etc. I know for a fact theyre not even remotely close to being able to go.they don’t even have the forms required. No surprise though after foid debacles…so lets start with that mess.


  11. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:26 am:

    Good on SA Karlin. As I commented yesterday, the sheriffs who are coming out and saying they think the law in unconstitutional and therefore will not enforce it are just clowns. Unfortunately because of their position they are very scary clowns.


  12. - Homebody - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:31 am:

    I was just complaining to my coworker yesterday about how too many ministerial, non-discretionary tasks are somehow the responsibility of elected officials.

    It is crazy to me that if a municipal PD arrests someone for a crime, and the State’s Attorney plans to charge someone for the crime, the guy who runs the jail can just unilaterally decide to let someone go and no one can fire him for it.


  13. - Big Dipper - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:33 am:

    ==wasn’t vetted and rammed through for political purposes==

    These kinds of comments are so disingenuous. We all know that you would oppose this even if it had been discussed for ten years first.


  14. - James - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:34 am:

    There is a point that the pro-2nd amendment folks need to understand, of which I am a part of. The culture has changed in the last 40 years.

    I grew up with fathers and grandfathers who taught a full respect for firearms. If I made the slightest misstep while handling a gun there were immediate repercussions. Shotguns and handguns were routinely around the house, but were never handled without proper safety in mind.

    That is not the situation with many young people today. Guns are seen as weapons of violence instead of a tool for hunting or for home protection. That change means that our approach to firearms needs to change as well.

    In short, republicans cannot decry the decline of the culture morally, and at the same time believe that this same culture is capable of appropriately handing firearms as it was in the past.


  15. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:35 am:

    It makes no sense to make a statement saying you won’t enforce the law. There is this thing called discretion that cops have in enforcing the law. Use it. But in these times, people just can’t help speaking or tweeting when the best thing for them would be to just keep it to themselves.


  16. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:37 am:

    Can see signatories to this manifesto seriously regretting it.


  17. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:40 am:

    ===even if it had been discussed for ten years first===

    It’s been discussed here for 20 years.


  18. - Huh? - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:44 am:

    How many of these sheriffs also refused to enforce the covid orders?

    Selective law enforcement breeds contempt for law enforcement.


  19. - SomeGuy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:46 am:

    ===Lets start with the law is effective immediately…and now isp is required to register guns,etc. I know for a fact theyre not even remotely close to being able to go.they don’t even have the forms required. No surprise though after foid debacles…so lets start with that mess.===

    Registration isn’t in effect until 2024. The only thing effective immediately is the sales ban.


  20. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:47 am:

    Lot of Sheriff Dredd’s out there proclaiming their primacy by shouting, ”I am the law.” of course it doesn’t work that way. It’s good that the State’s Attorney spoke out. I hope it’s a out of concern for the values and strictures of our democratic process and not a simple turf fight.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:48 am:

    ===Lets start with the law is effective immediately===

    That’s never happened before? This is a “new” thing.

    It’s an old excuse…

    ===I know for a fact theyre not even remotely close to being able to go.===

    I’d ask Director Kelly that if I wanted facts.

    ===they don’t even have the forms required.===

    In the 21st century world, electronic type filings will be the order of the day in some “form”, no pun intended.

    You make it sound like laws of immediate effect are so foreign.


  22. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:54 am:

    “Young people today…Guns are seen as weapons of violence instead of a tool for hunting or for home protection”

    Not so. Stop by any gun range and observe moms/dads with kids, or watch them take an intro to guns class. Better yet go to an event at one of the over 70 IL High Schools that have clay target leagues. Among legally owned FOID card-holding folks, respect for gun safety/training is as strong today as it was when I was a kid (a long time ago).


  23. - Southerner - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:56 am:

    Karlin has some good points but it is important to know he campaigned on “no probation” for any gun offense (basically pledging no prosecutorial discretion in looking at each gun case’s facts independently). Therefore, to pedestal him as some neutral, non-partisan prosecutorial voice on firearms issues is really disingenuous.


  24. - Jerry - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 9:58 am:

    @ james (934am)

    Great points, thanx.

    I think gun owners should be required to carry liability insurance. We do this with drivers (and cars arent in the Constitution).

    I can hear the objection now. Criminals wont buy insurance. There are drivers who dont carry insurance but everyones rates go up because of this. That is a cost that gun owners should bear to be a member of the “militia”. Our for-profit insurance companies are well suited to do this.

    Non gun owners right to safety should be top priority.


  25. - Not a fan - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:01 am:

    Electronic forms work so well in IL. 30 days took over 9 months to get FOID a while back. Prompted litigation.


  26. - Flapdoodle - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:03 am:

    @Frederick 9:24

    ==they don’t even have the forms required.==

    That’s right, they don’t. Because the ban on possession begins 1/1/24 and the law gives the ISP until 10/1/23 to develop the “grandfathering” registration by affidavit process. Y’all might want to read the law before posting comments about it.


  27. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:04 am:

    ===Y’all might want to read the law before posting comments about it. ===

    lol

    Good luck with that. They come over here after being ginned up on Facebook or wherever.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:04 am:

    ===Electronic forms work so well in IL. 30 days took over 9 months to get FOID a while back. Prompted litigation.===

    Doesn’t mean that’s a reason not to do it.

    I know, you’re “not a fan”

    Fan or not, the law as it sits has some immediate effect


  29. - Not a fan - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:09 am:

    I also see the ISP dragging their feet with the registration process, as that is one of the least likely parts of the law to stand.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:11 am:

    ===Therefore, to pedestal him as some neutral, non-partisan prosecutorial voice on firearms issues is really disingenuous.===

    Meh.

    The spin would be you favor weaker prosecutions for gun offenses?

    I know I’m not putting him on a pedestal, I can’t help that others are so inept at understanding things it elevates others. I can’t help that. Nope.


  31. - Flapdoodle - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:12 am:

    @ Rich 10:04

    ==Good luck with that.==

    Oh, I fully agree with on how slim the chances are, Rich. But as a retired college professor, I still cling to a few sustaining illusions, one of which is that someone someday will actually do their homework.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:13 am:

    ===I also see the ISP dragging their feet with the registration process, as that is one of the least likely parts of the law to stand.===

    Again, I’d ask Director Kelly if that’s the plan

    Do you also have the lottery numbers, there’s $1.4 billion out there to win and your vision of the future could help with that.


  33. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:15 am:

    =Therefore, to pedestal him as some neutral, non-partisan prosecutorial voice on firearms issues is really disingenuous.=

    Go buy yourself a dictionary or stick to facebook.

    He is not being “pedestaled” (or maybe he is since the word usage is nonsensical) nor is it disingenuous.

    He issued a thoughtful and intelligent statement on the issue. compare that to the statements of our out of control and soon to be outlaw county sheriff’s. These guys need to be reigned in soon.

    As I (again) peruse the US Constitution a couple of things strike me. First, there is no mention of Sheriffs. Two, there is no mention of counties.

    That tells me that these guys to not have the rights or powers they have self declared. Especially in Illinois where their authority comes from the county which is empowered by the state. Fairly far down the authority totem pole.


  34. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:29 am:

    I was expecting to see this was Kane county, as there is a similar dynamic developing there between the AG and county sheriff.

    But I really don’t understand the thinking behind what the sheriffs are doing. It’s only a matter of time before there’s another shooting, and it comes out the local police did nothing about the warnings and/or a revoked FOID.

    Which is why the Kane county sheriff beating his chest about this is so odd, with it only being a few years since the shooting in Aurora where the sheriff neglected to act on a ISP FOID revocation against the eventual shooter.

    But who am I to stop the sheriffs from constantly pointing out how useless they are at their jobs. The more they talk, the more opportunities there are going to be for it to blow up in their faces when the next shooting happens.

    And yes, I’m sad that I’m referring to ‘the next shooting’ workplace or school, in such a cavalier and certain manner - but that’s the world we live in now.


  35. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:32 am:

    –30 days took over 9 months to get FOID a while back–

    I know a lot of people were carping on this. But at the height of those delays I did my renewal. It took 5 weeks.

    Maybe a lot of those people complaining are showing up as ‘needs additional investigation’ and taking longer for the renewal process. There certainly has been no shortage of people demonstrating their lack of responsibility with firearms or otherwise.


  36. - sulla - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:33 am:

    “These Roscoe P. Coltrane types…”

    I think you’re missing something here.

    This law has the potential to make felons out of millions of (up to this point) law-abiding gun owners in Illinois. Gun-owners are freaked out by the prospect of having to choose between registering their firearms with the state or else be at risk for going to jail over owning basic firearms because this bill was dramatically over-broad in its classification of “assault weapon”. I think its pretty common knowledge that amongst gun owners, any kind of government registration scheme is seen as a non-starter / third-rail type of issue.

    My point is that these sheriffs are issuing statements to reassure the masses of gun owners in their rural jurisdictions who are legitimately scared of the implications of this law on average gun-owing taxpayers.


  37. - Mason born - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:40 am:

    -The invisible man-

    I think it’s more likely you got lucky. My Father who was an IDNR employee was 10 months and has no criminal record. My Brother, no record, still waiting 11 months out, granted he did a paper app through ISP but they took his payment 10 months ago. It was a legit problem for people who it shouldn’t of been I’ve heard it’s gotten better let’s hope so.


  38. - Pundent - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:43 am:

    =wasn’t vetted and rammed through for political purposes=

    The “wasn’t vetted” has become the reliable response from the ILGOP for having no ideas or solutions. And as far as the “political purpose” goes, when 60% of people are in favor of doing something I think you have all the political purpose you need.


  39. - Arsenal - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:43 am:

    ==Not so. Stop by any gun range and observe moms/dads with kids==

    That’s just anecdotal evidence of one subset of gun users, though. Which, tbf, so was OP’s description of what gun use was like back when he was a kid, so maybe gun culture hasn’t really changed and there has always been a frighteningly large cohort of gun users ready to do harm with them.

    But that, of course…would not be a good argument for lenient gun regulations.


  40. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:44 am:

    Efiled my FOID renewal approximately 120 days before expiration and received new card before the old one expired.

    Guess I was lucky.


  41. - Stephanie Kollmann - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:52 am:

    Oops. I read an important step into Homebody’s post that wasn’t there (court ordering pretrial detention), so my answer is wrong. Yes, my understanding is that a sheriff may be able to wait to accept custody until after a first appearance.

    Apologies


  42. - Todd - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:53 am:

    Seems the Perry county SA has a different take than Mr. Harlan.

    https://static.wixstatic.com/media/bcfa6c_446cd59a4aaf4b3cbe1e5506da5e7d77~mv2.png/v1/fill/w_686,h_912,al_c,q_90,enc_auto/bcfa6c_446cd59a4aaf4b3cbe1e5506da5e7d77~mv2.png


  43. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:55 am:

    Perry county barely funds a Sheriff’s department.


  44. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 10:59 am:

    - Todd -

    With respect, as always.

    The idea of constitutionality is something the courts will decide, and they will decide as this law will be challenged.

    Deciding on any course of action that is buttress to an idea, actually a “belief” of constitutionality is an option with no weight of the courts.

    If a court puts a hold on implementing what is now, or what will be implemented later, then that is part of process.

    I’m looking forward to the courts weighing in, but until that time it’s not a decision made arbitrarily.

    As always I appreciate your words and the weight you bring to them on these subjects. Hope you’re well.


  45. - Chicagonk - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 11:03 am:

    In the end, it’s all just politics. Obscenity is still a class A misdemeanor in Illinois. I would be curious the last time someone was charged with Obscenity


  46. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 11:18 am:

    ===I think you’re missing something here.===

    I’m not missing anything here.

    My continued thought/belief/stance has been the same and consistent

    A law that maximizes the opportunity for a curtailing of assault weapon impact that is wholly constitutional.

    To that end, how owners of weapons feel, fear, or forget to the idea of what this law is and what is next in the court challenge, it *is* these phony Roscoe P. Coltrane type sheriffs that have this belief they are arbiters but like ole Roscoe they answer to others’ whims, not their own real thoughts, and those influences include “good ole boys” or small town bosses that helped elevate *them*

    We are going to see how it plays out, placating fears isn’t leadership either.


  47. - someonehastosayit - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 11:29 am:

    MLK Jr. spoke about interpostion in the “I Have a Dream” speech: “I have a dream that one day down in Alabama with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right down in Alabama little Black boys and Black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.”


  48. - DuPage - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 11:46 am:

    I think laws should be enforced. Let the courts decide on if the law is constitutional. Of course, there is a lot of non-enforcement going on all the time. Other public officials non-enforce laws they don’t like. Kim Fox routinely does not enforce shoplifting laws, and any other laws she does not like.


  49. - Pundent - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 11:56 am:

    =I think its pretty common knowledge that amongst gun owners, any kind of government registration scheme is seen as a non-starter / third-rail type of issue.=

    We’ve got a registration scheme for cars. Should I be outraged by that as well? If that’s your argument against the law it’s a pretty weak one.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===which rural person===

    Which member of the General Assembly pushed the bill through the house, and where is their district.

    I can understand how this stuff is tough for you, but this ain’t Facebook.


  51. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 12:04 pm:

    ===existing gun laws===

    Legislation need not be either reactive or a band-aid

    I’m still not sure you understand the process of passing laws, or how laws work.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 12:07 pm:

    Yeah, I did answer your question, you just don’t like the answer.

    :)


  53. - This - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 12:19 pm:

    What’s the big burden for a law-abiding owner of an assault rifle to get it registered by January 2024? We register our cars, our kids in school, our car insurance, and on and on. If law-abiding citizens don’t want to be seen in violation of the new law, that’s their fault for not registering. Real simple folks.

    Sheriffs of any county are sworn to uphold the law - period. If they don’t plan to, maybe they should consider stepping down asap.

    Guns designed for the US militatary, for battles in faraway lands, were never meant for classrooms, theaters, parks, grocery stores. Our police can’t even defend innocent citizens when assault rifles are in the wrong hands.


  54. - Henry Francis - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 12:25 pm:

    == Gun-owners are freaked out by the prospect of having to choose between registering their firearms with the state or else be at risk for going to jail over owning basic firearms==

    Putting to the side the characterization of “basic firearms”, I just can’t comprehend why having to register a firearm is freaking people out. I get the argument that it may not be constitutional, but why is this causing such a panic? Why is this right the most important right for some of these people?

    I can understand women who previously were law abiding citizens when making healthcare decisions about themselves, suddenly can be put in jail for having an abortion - I can understand them “freaking out” (to put it mildly)

    But having to fill out paperwork is freaking people out?


  55. - Pretzel - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 12:28 pm:

    ==I think its pretty common knowledge that amongst gun owners, any kind of government registration scheme is seen as a non-starter / third-rail type of issue.==

    This is the one part of the AWB that I could see standing actually. Everything else is pretty clearly unconstitutional if you follow the Heller, McDonald, Caetano, and Bruen cases. Haven’t seen anything on registrations, yet.


  56. - Buford Pusser - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 12:34 pm:

    “Illinois Courts have repeated declared the state’s attorney to be the chief law enforcement officer of the county because he or she decides whether charges are filed.” It’s great to get some coverage on this issue. People in Cook County just can’t conceive in their worst nightmares how ignorant some of these Sheriff’s (and the populations that back them) are, and what a Klan type of attitude these morons have: we do what we want to “out here.”

    Take a look at Whiteside county Sheriff John Booker. State’s Attorney Terry Costello used to be a “Republican” then pulled a Democrat ballot so he could be appointed as the State’s Attorney. Costello is not going to buck Booker, when the same good old boys backed them both.


  57. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 12:55 pm:

    Looking for that part of the constitution that says registration of guns is not required. Also trying to understand why the responsible gun owner is so against a record being made of what you own. As others have said, there’s records on a lot of things… cars, insurance, large cash withdrawals, etc.


  58. - Old Timer - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:04 pm:

    Let’s not stop at the gun owners. How about we pass a law requiring all citizens must submit DNA samples and fingerprints. This would help deter crime.As an added benefit it would create more jobs.


  59. - DHS Drone - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:06 pm:

    I once had to register in a federal database to buy cold medicine so i have a hard time feeling sympathy for those who don’t want to register their guns.


  60. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:10 pm:

    ===Let’s not stop at the gun owners===

    (Sigh)


  61. - thisjustinagain - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:24 pm:

    Kwame forgot the Federal courts can overturn Illinois laws, and will be doing so in short order. The ‘Disarm The Law-Abiding’ bill runs so far afoul of recent SCOTUS rulings overturning the same 2nd Amendment violations in other states it’s amazing.


  62. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:25 pm:

    ===and will be doing so in short order===

    Where is the case?

    Where has it been filed?

    Did I miss arguments? When was the ruling?


  63. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:29 pm:

    =Let’s not stop at the gun owners.=

    When you can get 60% of the people to join your cause maybe you’ll have a point.


  64. - Jerry - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:30 pm:

    Runs afoul of SCOTUS? Tony and Clay said that courts have to look at the textual and historic records in future court cases.

    So in Clay’s case, his people were not allowed to own guns when the 2nd Amendment was written. And the country didnt think much of italians back when it was founded so he might have had his gun taken away too.


  65. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:36 pm:

    To McCombie,

    It’s one thing to lead an irrelevant caucus. It’s another to say your branch of government is irrelevant.

    McCombie says that… purposely.

    Republicans are going to lose terribly on this, maybe more so if the law is struck down, as they, the GOP, are now on record with their HGOP leader as saying irrelevance is fine as long as the Roscoe P. Coltrane sheriffs can ignore anything


  66. - DHS Drone - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:39 pm:

    To the update

    The new argument seems to be that sheriffs do not have to enforce laws that they believe will one day be declared unconstitutional. Technically, any law can be one day considered unconstitutional. Janus and Dobbs are just two example of long established laws being later found unconstitutional. So does this mean these sheriffs now think they don’t really need to enforce… anything?

    Why do we even have them at this point?


  67. - Club J - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:45 pm:

    *** and will be doing so in short order***
    Please tell us you aren’t buying into Tom DeVore and his Facebook Live rhetoric. I mean come on everyday maybe twice a day he’s peddling for $200 a person to file a frivolous lawsuit against what he call the Pritzker Assault Weapons law. All these people quoting the 2nd amendment like it’s their daily prayers. Needs to remember when the Federal government had a similar law. Same for law enforcement officers. Do your job or step aside for someone who honors their oath to do the job.


  68. - Retired National Guard Officer - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:47 pm:

    Every officer who takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Illinois incurs an independent obligation to determine whether their acts do indeed support and defend both constitutions. The cannot enforce unconstitutional laws and then claim they were following orders.

    We do not live under a form of government where we have a boss in Springfield or Chicago. Governance requires the cooperation, not the blind obedience, of duly authorized officials at all levels.

    The legislature cannot make a determination of constitutionality for the Sheriff. Neither can executive branch officers. The one taking the oath must make that determination for himsef/herself.

    With a controversial law, it is unsurprising that some officials who are under oath will uphold this law, while others, consistent with their past political positions, will decline. We should give them the benefit of the doubt that they have arrived at their decision soberly and somberly.

    If the officeholder is making a sincere decision (admittedly a big question on both sides of the aisle), we need to tone it down until the courts settle the matter.


  69. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:49 pm:

    Hang on OW - I’m sure we’ll hear from McCombie what the GOPs plan is to put an end to gun violence in Chicago. I’m sure it will be enlightening and save many many lives. We’ll all be wondering why Bruce Rauner didn’t implement it, it will be so painfully obvious to us all.


  70. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:49 pm:

    ===The one taking the oath must make that determination for himsef/herself.===

    State laws are presumed constitutional unless the courts decide otherwise. Period.


  71. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:50 pm:

    Some people: This law is unconstitutional!

    Same people: Why isn’t the registry working yet?

    I don’t argue case law with Todd. He knows it well, but it is also pointless.

    There is no lawsuit, and we are not judges.

    What I can tell you is that I do not think POTUS wants to touch the assault weapons ban right now. The messed around and found out with Roe. They are gonna be outspent in 2024 in the House and the Senate, and if Biden wins and they pick up 1 more Senate seat, a reorganization of the Supreme Court is guaranteed if assault weapons ban is struck down. That would affect not just Illinois, but also New York, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Massachussetts, as well as California, the home state of the Republican Leader. It will be a local issue for the entire East Coast and a media frenzy in all three major markets.

    As a practical matter, if a ban or registry of military style weapons is illegal, it is hard to understand how any weapons ban could pass a legal test.

    Not sure the GOP wants to be the ones who legalized switch blades and hand grenades or guns on airplanes.


  72. - Pretzel - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:50 pm:

    ==Republicans are going to lose terribly on this==

    Not so sure about this. I mean, you are probably right when Republicans put forth candidates like Darren Bailey but a sane candidate can capitalize on this. As you’ve said many times over, “winners make policy.” Democrats have been winning in this state for a long time. Everything going on in this state, good or bad, is a result of Democratic policies. Has to be. They are the only ones calling the shots. The gun violence is a result of their policies and instead of addressing the issue at hand they chose to pass an unconstitutional law, get some photo ops, and then spend millions of taxpayer money defending it only to have to start all over accomplishing nothing. Republicans should be able to make the public see that level of incompetence.


  73. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:52 pm:

    ===The legislature cannot make a determination of constitutionality for the Sheriff. Neither can executive branch officers. The one taking the oath must make that determination for himself/herself.===

    So a sheriff is more in line with a judge that has yet to rule on the constitutionality?

    It’s way too early to be imbibing, even on a Friday.

    Please do NOT operate and machinery either.

    Love of Peter, lol

    ===their past political positions, will decline===

    Yeah, here’s the thing, the rule of law isn’t political, giving passes like this is like saying that insurrection was “probably, totally cool”

    ===they have arrived at their decision soberly and somberly.===

    You aren’t paying any attention to the whining. None.


  74. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:54 pm:

    When a sheriff chooses to not enforce a law, and then that nonenforcement causes someone to be unnecessarily harmed as a result - good luck when the civil suits fly. And I don’t see many sheriffs that are also constitutional lawyers.


  75. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===Not so sure about this. I mean===

    Bailey refused to campaign on the 2A, you think in the suburbs it’s a winner to say, “we need to allow assault weapons to be as they are”?

    You might be a bit clueless to the politics, and the polling.

    ===The gun violence is a result of their policies and instead of addressing the issue at hand they chose to pass an unconstitutional law===

    Voters don’t do nuance.

    “Republicans are dangerous to families and children, including those who find themselves in mass shootings where Republicans refuse to ban assault weapons”

    “I mean”… You think Bailey got *more* votes by saying we should “move on” after Highland Park?


  76. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 2:07 pm:

    - The cannot enforce unconstitutional laws -

    If they wanted to decide what is or isn’t constitutional they picked the wrong line of work. It’s never too late to go back to school and become a judge.


  77. - Pretzel - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 2:08 pm:

    ==you think in the suburbs it’s a winner to say, “we need to allow assault weapons to be as they are”?==

    Not at all. But it can be a winner to point out how the Democrats are running in to a constitutional brick wall either out of incompetence or simply for publicity, either way not helping the situation.


  78. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 2:11 pm:

    ===Not at all===

    That’s the ball game.

    That’s the politics.

    The Dems don’t need to win, they just need the GOP to keep refusing to ban assault weapons.

    Otherwise Bailey’s “move on” quip woulda got more support.

    It’s a loser. Even struck down, the politics is a huge loser already.


  79. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 2:14 pm:

    === But it can be a winner to point out how the Democrats are running in to a constitutional brick wall===

    Considering the current public opinion about the US Supreme Court, that ain’t gonna be a suburban winner for y’all either, bub.


  80. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 2:21 pm:

    What I find perplexing is that the same people that said they would have to let half or more of the people in jail out on January 1 (which means they believed the state had the authority even if they thought the law was unconstitutional or wrong) now think they can ignore a new law?

    Seems hypocritical.


  81. - Pretzel - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 2:22 pm:

    ==Considering the current public opinion about the US Supreme Court, that ain’t gonna be a suburban winner for y’all either, bub.==

    Don’t need to praise the supreme court in the process, but acting like it’s not there and being blind to a long line of 2nd Amendment cases isn’t going to help anything.


  82. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 2:24 pm:

    ===but acting like it’s not there and being blind to a long line of 2nd Amendment cases isn’t going to help anything.===

    Yeah, after Dobbs, SCOTUS hurts more than helps the GOP.

    You are blind to the politics.


  83. - Pundent - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 2:31 pm:

    Kwame is right, if these local Sheriffs refuse to follow the law there are others that will. Tony on the other hand argues that we should be able to ignore laws that we disagree with. And the idea that the law has to tell law enforcement how to specifically enforce the laws is absurd and illogical. If that were the case a cop shouldn’t be able to stop me for DUI because there’s nothing in the law that tells him how to conduct a field sobriety test.


  84. - Bruce( no not him) - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 2:32 pm:

    ===COVID times: We will not enforce this executive order because it didn’t go through the legislature!

    Now: We will not enforce this duly passed law!==

    We will only enforce what we want to. Thanks


  85. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    Folks love to forget that a federal ban on assault weapons was determined to be constitutional.


  86. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 3:02 pm:

    - Lincoln Lad -

    You are probably and likely right.

    We will be entertained by this whole story and now all will be different.

    I need to give McCombie that “chance”


  87. - very old soil - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 3:04 pm:

    “Regardless of my personal beliefs as a firearm owner, I don’t believe it’s the role of a Sheriff to arbitrarily decide what law is or isn’t Constitutional. That is the job of our judicial system. That sets a dangerous precedent to enforce laws based solely on personal opinion of them. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to use the Illinois Compiled Statutes as a guide when determining the need for enforcement action of any law unless the Courts find that law unconstitutional. With that said, I have no intentions of limiting the discretion of my deputies with enforcing this specific law, just as I don’t limit their discretion when enforcing with any other law when they are in the best position to evaluate the totality of circumstances of an incident. My deputies will not be going door to door searching for violations of this law. As Sheriff, my goal continues to be to get guns out of the hands of people who want to use them maliciously so we can increase the safety of all of us who live here.”

    Champaign Co. Sheriff Dustin Heuerman


  88. - Henry Francis - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 3:22 pm:

    I don’t know if I’ve ever heard Sheriffs speak so strongly in favor of protecting the rights of individuals. (Typically those rights of individuals make their jobs more difficult)

    The fact the Sheriffs are speaking so strongly in favor of this right, which makes their jobs more dangerous, is perplexing.

    If these guys are so protective of individual’s rights they should join the ACLU.


  89. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 3:28 pm:

    “With that said, I have no intentions of limiting the discretion of my deputies with enforcing this specific law, just as I don’t limit their discretion when enforcing with any other law when they are in the best position to evaluate the totality of circumstances of an incident. My deputies will not be going door to door searching for violations of this law.”

    So…Yes and No?


  90. - cover - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 3:58 pm:

    = Lot of Sheriff Dredd’s out there proclaiming their primacy by shouting, ”I am the law.” =

    About 40 years ago the Dead Kennedys nailed it in their version of “I Fought the Law”, changing the ending to this:

    I fought the law and I won,
    I am the law so I won.


  91. - Club J - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 4:02 pm:

    In Tampa the Police Chief thought she was above the law when her and her husband go stopped in a golf cart. This is the second time she’s tried this game. She is now in the unemployment line. The oath does not give you the ability to decide which laws you will enforce. That is a ludicrous statement.

    https://www.npr.org/2022/12/06/1140901685/tampa-police-chief-badge-golf-cart


  92. - Wondering - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 4:19 pm:

    If a sheriff refuses to enforce the law and there is a shooting related to the guns/ammo regulated by the law, would the county be liable to the victims and their families?


  93. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 4:29 pm:

    == Folks love to forget that a federal ban on assault weapons was determined to be constitutional. ==

    1) The 10 year Federal ban was actually somewhat less restrictive than the just passed Illinois law.

    2) The Federal ban had a specific sunset date. Congress couldn’t get enough votes to extent it past the sunset date.

    3) SCOTUS decisions since then have changed the legal landscape on firearms possession. Still allows for regulation, but there is a legitimate question as to how much regulation the court will permit.

    4) The court has recently remanded a number of what appear to be relevant cases back to lower courts for further scrutiny. Until those cases are resolved, there is no clear guideline on exactly what is or is not acceptable to SCOTUS.


  94. - Big Dipper - Friday, Jan 13, 23 @ 4:45 pm:

    People have asked about liability a bunch of times. I thought under Deshaney the police have no obligation to protect you from a private party. So if you call the police and they don’t respond you can’t sue.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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