Illinois sheriffs are actively defending the Second Amendment by refusing to enforce the state’s new gun-control law, and anti-gun progressive Governor J.B. Pritzker is none too happy about it.
Last week, Pritzker signed the Protect Illinois Communities Act (PICA), a law that prohibits the possession of semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 and paves the way for expedited universal background checks. The legislation also establishes a state-level gun registry by requiring owners of weapons restricted under the new law to register with state police.
Unfortunately for Gov. J.B. Pritzker, sheriffs across the state are refusing to enforce the new law (via National Review):
Many sheriffs have vowed to defy the law, calling it a gross abuse of power.
“This is political grandstanding at its worst. The assault weapons ban is the law of Illinois,” Pritzker’s office said in a statement to Fox News. “The General Assembly passed the bill, and the Governor signed it into law to protect children in schools, worshippers at church, and families at parades from the fear of sudden mass murder.”
As of Friday, at least 85 of Illinois’ 102 county sheriffs have pledged not to enforce the law to various degrees. (Emphasis mine)
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is constitutionally ignorant and stupid when it comes to the power of the county sheriff — a power I documented in an article I wrote about red flag laws in Colorado — because the Illinois sheriffs are doing exactly what they are supposed to do under the Constitution; at least that’s what the U.S. Supreme Court ruled several years ago when a different gun control law was tried.
When Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act (aka the Brady Bill) into law in 1993, sheriffs in several states refused to enforce it, and they sought to strike it down as unconstitutional. This is when sheriffs Richard Mack of Graham County, AZ and Jay Printz of Ravalli County, MT filed a lawsuit that eventually reached the Supreme Court in 1996, and in a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled in 1997 that sheriffs weren’t required to enforce the law because it violated the Tenth Amendment.
Writing for the majority, Antonin Scalia said the Court’s decision was based on the fact that the Founding Fathers created local government to be a powerful check against an oppressive federal and/or state government.
Quoting President James Madison, Scalia said:
“[T]he local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to the general authority than the general authority is subject to them, within its own sphere.” (Federalist 39)
Scalia understood something that J.B. Pritzker and other anti-Second Amendment progressives don’t: the Founders knew the dangers created by an arbitrary, confiscatory, centralized government, and this is why they designed a system of government that divided its power to ensure the checks and balances necessary to protect our liberty.
The office of sheriff is unique in that he/she is directly responsible to the people of his/her county and not the government or the courts. Sheriffs are elected, not appointed, and they have complete authority to reject the acts of any agency of the government if those acts violate the Constitution and the God-given rights of the people. The people are where the Founders placed all powers not delegated to the federal government.
The Constitution provides no lawful authority for judges or a court to direct the law enforcement activities of a county sheriff. He/she is not a part of the judiciary. In fact, the sheriff holds executive power and can set up a court, empanel a jury, and form a militia or posse to protect the rights of those represented by his/her office.
Using words that sound almost prophetic in today’s anti-Second Amendment environment, President Madison confirmed that we not only have a right to be armed, but he also confirmed the power of local government to protect us against a tyrannical federal/state government.
“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” (Federalist 46)
Regular readers and/or listeners of the Strident Conservative know that I have provided a lot of information over the years about the many ways Republicans and Democrats have joined together to destroy our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms by advancing so-called “pre-crime” laws like Extreme Risk Protection Orders (aka ERPOs or red flag laws) and the Threat Assessment, Prevention and Safety (TAPS) Act.
Under Joe Biden, the radical anti-Second Amendment agenda of Barack Hussein Obama has become official White House policy under the direction of the head of Biden’s Domestic Policy Council, Susan Rice. And not surprisingly, many of Biden’s gun control priorities are included in the Protect Illinois Communities Act, such as the creation of a gun registry.
And let’s not forget the role Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and the National Rifle Association has played over recent years to pass anti-Secondment legislation, such as the Bipartisan Safe Communities Act passed last year.
In our fight against the clear and present danger to liberty we are facing today, it’s encouraging to hear stories about how sheriffs are rejecting government’s unconstitutional gun control efforts, and it’s also encouraging to see them take a defiant stand against the tyrannical actions of a government that is quickly becoming a domestic enemy to the Constitution.
The sheriffs in Illinois are the highest government authority in their counties — higher than Governor J.B. Pritzker and even President Joe Biden — and that means that not only can they refuse to enforce anti-Second Amendment laws . . . they would be negligent in their duties to do otherwise.
As opposed to Pritzker, Biden and the rest of the anti-Second Amendment zealots who are being negligent in their duty to protect and defend the Constitution.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.
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