CLINTON, Ill. (WCCU) — On Thursday night, the Dewitt County Board passed a motion to adopt a resolution to oppose the Illinois General House Assembly's ‘Protect Illinois Communities Act,’ with a unanimous vote.
The act, also known as House Bill 5855, is supported by state Democrats to ban assault-style weapons and magazines that hold over 10 bullets in Illinois, as well as raise the age to legally buy and own a firearm. Fox Illinois’ Marlena Lang spoke with the Dewitt County Sheriff, Mike Walker, on why he believes the act should not be passed.
"And we just feel like they are chipping away at our constitutional rights a little bit at a time, you know they start taking away guns or eliminating certain guns, certain magazines, things like that where does it stop?,” said Walker.
Sheriff Walker hopes that with this formal opposition from Dewitt County and opposition from other counties, will show legislation that many Central and Southern Illinois counties are not in favor of their second amendment right being taken away.
The resolution began with a letter and signed petition from the Dewitt County Sportsmen's Club. The petition has over 7 pages of signatures, and is still being circulated throughout the community, opposing the bill and all other bills that “attempt to restrict the individual rights of a U.S. citizen that are protected by the second amendment.”
The Dewitt County Board and Sheriff saw it as their duty as elected officials to back the community on this resolution.
"And as a constitutionally elected sheriff, I feel that it's important that the county board and myself show our constituents that we respect and honor their constitutional rights, and feel that they should be allowed to continue to have a second amendment right,” said Walker.
When the voting on the resolution began, the Dewitt County Board seconded Sheriff Walker that it is their job to protect the constitutional rights of their community.
The next hearing for the bill will be early next year.