Illinois sheriffs and lawmakers are pushing back on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “assault weapons ban,” promising not to enforce the policy that bans the weapons and high-capacity magazines from being sold and manufactured in the state.
Illinois State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R) joined “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday to discuss the backlash over the law, and why he is confident citizens and law enforcement alike will defy the legislation.
“The majority of them said they’re not going to enforce this because it’s unconstitutional, and it’s unenforceable,” Wilhour told Carlson. “I think that we are in danger of losing our country if we don’t stand up, if we don’t wake up… I didn’t leave the farm to go to the General Assembly to stand by and watch somebody like J.B. Pritzker trash our Constitution.”
“He trashed it during COVID with his illegal lockdowns. He trashed it with his so-called SAFE-T act, letting violent criminals out on the street, and now he’s coming after our guns,” he continued. “We won’t comply.”
Pritzker signed the now-law, “Protect Illinois Communities Act,” last week, which prohibits the state from manufacturing or selling semiautomatic rifles and pistols, .50-caliber guns, as well as attachments that can increase a gun’s fire rate.
More than 70 sheriffs have publicly vowed to defy the law, calling it unconstitutional.
Amid the public pushback, Pritzker’s office condemned their responses, saying the measure comes in an effort to halt the “fear” of mass shootings and protect children.
“This is political grandstanding at its worst. The assault weapons ban is the law of Illinois,” Pritzker’s office told Fox News Digital on Monday. “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.”
But one sheriff pushed back on Pritzker’s statement during “Fox & Friends First,” alleging the governor doesn’t have the “authority” to enact the ban in the first place.
“He better look in the mirror when he says that, because the difference between the governor and my fellow sheriffs is that we have the Constitution and lawful authority supporting our action and our stance,” Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Bullard told Todd Piro Tuesday.
“The case law is on our side,” he continued. “The Second Amendment is on our side, and the governor just doesn’t have the authority, nor does the General Assembly, to do what they’re doing.”
Critics have been quick to note that the ban could have an adverse effect on crime, as violence continues to soar in cities like Chicago.
“Violence is out of control in Chicago,” Wilhour said. “They’ve got the toughest gun laws in the country… If they want to solve the crime problem, they need to solve the opportunity problem in this state. Democrats in this state have destroyed the ability to make a good wage for too many people in this state.”
Edwards County Sheriff Darby Boewe said he wasn’t surprised Pritzker enacted the ban, but issued a stark warning on what’s to come.
“It’s typical of our leadership in this state, any kind of weapons ban they can enact, they’re going to do it,” Boewe told Piro. “This is just the beginning. They do this time and time again. They need to read the Constitution.”
Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.
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