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Gun enthusiasts applaud several Illinois counties declaring, “Sanctuary”

COLUMBIA, IL - The push for more gun control has some local Illinois governments pushing back.

That includes Monroe County as one of five counties to declare itself as a sanctuary county, taking a stand for protecting its gun owners and their right to bear arms.

The sheriff’s department commended the Board of Commissioners vote.  The department said it will not enforce any law that is deemed unconstitutional nor will we infringe on any residents Second Amendment.

“The resolution is just a message to the state legislature, that some of these bills that we see that are possibly coming down, we don’t agree with and that’s all really it is,” said sheriff Neal Rohlfing.

Gun enthusiasts applauded the county’s move to speak up.

“It’s more about the rights than anything else in my eyes,” said Tony Caito, co-owner of Shooter’s Firearms and Indoor Range. “I’m a small mom and pop shop and I enjoy it but on the same hand, I want to have enough money to keep my lights on, I’m not looking to retire tomorrow.”

State Senator Paul Schimpf (R) of Waterloo also weighed in on the resolution.

“While I am sympathetic and just as angry and frustrated as these county officials are, when it comes to different jurisdictions saying that they are going to selectively enforce legislation, they are going to pick and choose which statutes they support, that’s something that I don’t think is consistent with the rule of law and that’s not something I agree with,” said Schimpf during a phone interview with Fox 2.

Rohlfing said that counties declaring themselves as a sanctuary, is just symbolic, with a big message.

“There’s a lot of things we need help with,” Rohlfing said, “we’ve got a mental illness crisis, we’ve got an opioid crisis, the opioid deaths in 2016 were over double, our state debt, businesses and residents are fleeing.”

Many the proposed gun bills are still in the House and have not made it out of committees.