Sheriffs across northern Illinois say they won’t enforce gun registration under new ban

Lake County Sheriff opposes neighboring colleagues, says semiautomatic guns are ‘weapons of war’

McHenry County Sheriff Robb Tadelman speaks Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, to a class in the Ted Spella Leadership School at the Algonquin Village Hall, 2200 Harnish Drive, in Algonquin.

County sheriffs across northern Illinois announced Wednesday they won’t enforce a new law which in part requires owners of semiautomatic firearms to register their weapons with the state, arguing in nearly identical prepared statements they believe the law is unconstitutional.

Most of the news releases were nearly identical, changing only the names of the county and sheriff.

DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Sullivan said the statements were drafted with the Illinois Sheriff’s Association.

“As the custodian of the jail and chief law enforcement official...[I] proclaim that neither myself nor my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the State, nor will we be arresting or housing law-abiding gun individuals that have been arrested solely with non-compliance of this Act,” Sullivan’s statement read, which echoed nearly identical statements sent out by nearly two dozen other agencies.

With each news release Shaw Local News Network received from 11 counties, every one of them used almost word-for-word the same language to say the sheriffs apparently shared belief that the gun law was a violation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Sheriffs with nearly identical releases were: Carroll, DeKalb, Grundy, La Salle, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago.

Not all opposed enforcement, however.

In an independent statement released by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff John Idleburg said he supports the ban, saying a “weapon of war” was used after a gunman opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago Suburb of Highland Park, killing seven people and injuring 30 more.

Highland Park is in Lake County.

“As a society, so many have become numb to mass shootings as we read about them nearly every day,” Idleburg said in a statement. “I truly hope this is the last mass shooting we live through before assault-style rifles are banned. Assault-style rifles are nothing more than killing machines, and they have no place in a civilized society. While the intent of my message is not meant to be political, I feel the most significant action that can be taken to minimize and prevent further carnage is by enacting a full ban on assault-style rifles.”

Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain also issued his own statement, saying he won’t proactively enforce the law.

“If we encounter a felon or someone in the commission of a crime in possession of extended capacity magazines or “assault” rifles, we may use parts of the new law to impose additional charges,” Hain said in a statement.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed the law Tuesday, which gives gun owners a year before they need to register such weapons with Illinois State Police.

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois