What is a "sanctuary county" for gun owners?
We totally get and sympathize with the "gun sanctuary" movement — Springfield lawmakers need to get the message about tinkering with Second Amendment rights.
But just like the "sanctuary city" movement in which municipal authorities refuse to help federal immigration authorities, leaders in "gun sanctuaries" need to halt before their thoughts turn to actions.
There are 26 of Illinois' 102 counties that passed "gun sanctuary" resolutions, including Monroe County. Twelve are about to do so. Two are asking their voters, including Madison County.
These are all rural counties, where it might take deputies 20 minutes to answer your call for help. The proposals on age restrictions, additional licensing for gun dealers, ammunition capacity, waiting periods and assault weapons are coming from Chicago lawmakers, who live in a world where many cops are minutes away.
Chicago is one of the nation's "sanctuary cities," where leaders have said it is OK to ignore federal immigration law and refuse to cooperate with federal authorities. Translation: Don't put your immigration rules on us, but we're perfectly willing to put our gun rules on you.
We're with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost. It's fine to send your messages up the line, but don't cross the line by refusing to do your job.
"There are locals reacting. If they want to react, they can," Bost said. "I’m not for sanctuary cities whenever it comes to disobeying federal law. If they’re suggesting that they’re going to disobey federal law, then I can’t support that. If they’re just enhancing on what exists in federal law, so let them send a statement."
For Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing and his peers, their job is not to interpret the law but rather to enforce it. It is the role of the courts to interpret it, lawmakers to change it, and the public to say what it should be.
We remain a nation united by laws, not 102 Illinois fiefdoms divided by desired interpretations.