La Salle, Bureau, Putnam counties sheriffs say deputies won’t enforce non-compliance aspect of new Illinois gun law

Sheriff says he believes new law to be in violation of Second Amendment to U.S. Constitution

La Salle County Sheriff Adam Diss, Bureau County Sheriff Jim Reed and Putnam County Sheriff Joshua Boedigheimer said they will not, nor their deputies, be checking to ensure “lawful gun owners” register their weapons with the state of Illinois, nor will the sheriff’s offices arrest or house “law-abiding individuals” arrested solely for non-compliance of the ban on high-powered semiautomatic weapons.

The ban is effective immediately after Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker signed the law around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The law bans several dozen styles of rapid-fire rifles and pistols, .50-caliber guns and weapon attachments that enhance a gun’s firepower. Current owners of such weapons won’t be required to surrender them. However, gun owners will have to register them with the Illinois State Police – including serial numbers, a provision initially removed by the Senate but restored after House proponents’ objections.

Several sheriffs across northern Illinois announced Wednesday they won’t enforce the new law, arguing in nearly identical prepared statements that they believe the law is unconstitutional. Most of the news releases were nearly identical, changing only the names of the county and sheriff.

“Part of my duties that I accepted upon being sworn into office was to protect the rights provided to all of us in the Constitution,” Diss said in the statement he released at 12:40 p.m. Wednesday. “One of those enumerated rights is the right of the people to keep and bear arms provided under the Second Amendment.

“The right to keep and bear arms for the defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalienable right by the people,” Diss said.

Bureau County Sheriff Jim Reed
Putnam County Sheriff candidate Joshua Boedigheimer

The sheriffs’ statements come a day before the La Salle County Board is scheduled to vote on a resolution opposing the Protect Illinois Communities Act.

La Salle County State’s Attorney Joseph Navarro said a statement from his office is pending.