Over the past few months, 26 Illinois county councils have voted their counties "Sanctuary Counties for Gun Owners," to declare their commitment to gun rights despite laws the state legislature passes to hinder those rights. As of this week, 14 others have the resolution under consideration.
This week, Governor Rauner signed into law two measures gun control advocates celebrated: the so-called “red flag” bill that allows guns to be taken away from people who pose a threat to themselves or others. A second measure requires a 72-hour waiting period to purchase any gun, not just handguns.
Tougher gun control laws aren't the answer, and law-abiding gun owners should not be blamed or have their Second Amendment right restricted because of the gang and criminal violence in Chicago, the Illinois State Rifle Association says on its website.
"Blaming law abiding gun owners and firearms is a scam. The purpose of this scam is to push gun control down the throats of law aiding gun owners," ISRA Director Richard Pearson wrote July 12th in his weekly bulletin. The numbers show ratcheting up gun control laws hurts those that are already doing all they can to obey laws, he said.
"In Illinois, law abiding gun owners have a Firearms Owners Identification Card (FOID) and may also have an Illinois Concealed Carry License (ICCL). In Illinois, there are nearly 2.300,000 FOID card holders and over 300,000 ICCL holders," Pearson wrote. "They go through a background check nearly every night (with the exception on holidays) and whenever they purchase a firearm. That is approximately 930,000,000 background checks on Illinois gun owners every year."
For that, Illinois gun owners should be "mad," Pearson wrote. "Gun owners are the 800 pound gorilla in the room but they have to be organized. Joining the ISRA will help with that."
A data check as to any FOID card holder that may have been admitted for mental health evaluation under the Illinois FOID Mental Health Reporting System is run nightly. The check is done by is an online system administered by the state, which collects information on persons in Illinois that have been
- declared in court to be mentally disabled;
- admitted to an inpatient mental health facility within the last five years
- determined to be a “clear and present danger” to themselves or others or determined to be developmentally disabled.
The system mandates clinicians, mental health facilities and qualified examiners to report persons who meet any of the above criteria to IDHS within the time frames set forth in the law. A qualified examiner includes social workers, registered nurses, clinical professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists who report only if they have an additional three years of clinical experience involving evaluation and treatment with patients that have a mental illness.
That's the intense watch the state of Illinois has on gun owners, but declaring a county "sanctuary" will not preclude that county's gun owners from being reported by the state.
Governor Rauner signed into law this week an effort celebrated by gun control activists that authorizes law enforcement to remove guns from those family and or friends deem to be unstable.
The 14 counties now considering the sanctuary gun owner resolution are shown on the ISRA's map below in yellow. Those 26 that have already passed the resolution are in green: