The Tazewell County Board opposes state attempts at firearms restrictions that might conflict with the U.S. Constitution.
The board apparently doesn't support making its county a safe harbor for prohibited weapons, nor encouraging public officials to flout the law.
A pro-gun resolution the board approved earlier this week eliminated wording some members found problematic. The renewed resolution was approved almost unanimously. Only board member Sue Sundell opposed it.
The proposed resolution ended with a paragraph that stated Tazewell County shall become "a sanctuary county for all firearms unconstitutionally prohibited by the government of the state of Illinois, in that Tazewell County will direct its employees not to enforce the unconstitutional actions of the state government."
By law, the board can't micromanage the sheriff's or state's attorney's offices, according to Tim Neuhauser, the vice chairman. The term "sanctuary," in particular, also was an issue.
"We talked through how we can come up with some kind of language that achieves everybody's goal," he said, "which is basically telling the state of Illinois that we're not happy with what they're doing, yet does not put us at odds with our own elected officials here.
"We fully support Bob Huston as sheriff and Stu Umholtz as state's attorney. We think they do a fantastic job. This was a way to put it in writing."
The sanctuary-county paragraph wasn't included in the final resolution, which was briefer than the proposed resolution. A Neuhauser-composed paragraph in support of the sheriff and state's attorney was substituted.
The board rejected a proposal to put the issue to county voters in a referendum.
What follows is the text of the approved resolution, which Nick in the Morning obtained Thursday. Neuhauser and others have acknowledged it's symbolic.
WHEREAS, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is guaranteed as an individual right under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and under the Constitution of the State of Illinois; and
WHEREAS, the right of the people to keep and bear arms for self-defense is regarded as an inalienable right by the people of Tazewell County, Illinois; and
WHEREAS, the people of Tazewell County derive economic benefit from all safe forms of firearms recreation, hunting, and shooting using all types of firearms allowable under the United States Constitution; and
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the elected County Board of Tazewell County does hereby oppose the enactment of any legislation that would infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we request the Illinois General Assembly cease further actions restricting the right of the people to keep and bear arms or actions which would require the surrender of previously authorized firearms and firearm paraphernalia, and hereby request that the Governor of Illinois veto all such legislation which restricts these rights as protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the elected County Board of Tazewell County shall support the office of the Tazewell County Sheriff and the Tazewell County States Attorney to uphold and enforce the sworn oath of office and duties as described under the Constitution of the State of Illinois and the United States Constitution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Tazewell County Clerk is hereby directed to prepare and deliver copies of this Resolution to all members of the Illinois General Assembly and to the Office of the Governor.