Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

As news spread of Illinois’ Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signing of the “Protect Illinois Communities Act” into law Tuesday, legal counters and positions were already being drawn up. Several of Illinois’ Sheriff’s Departments released statements Wednesday informing Springfield that they will not be complying with the new law that bans the manufacture, sale, or possession of several dozen common semi-automatic rifles and pistols.

Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen posted a letter to Facebook in which he informed his constituents that he would adhere to his “morals, beliefs, and obligations concerning protecting the rights” of Greene County’s citizens, not Pritzker’s new law HB5471.


In the letter, he says in part, “These types of laws put law enforcement officers and prosecutors in a very precarious box, with us having to decide to not enforce laws that were passed by government bodies.”

“But, as your Greene County Sheriff, I cannot sit back and let laws that strip Greene County citizens of their constitutional rights, and not take a stance supporting the citizens against a government that wants to trample on their rights.”

McMillen also noted, “I believe that this stance will be the stance of many other Sheriffs throughout the State of Illinois, so we are unified in this movement to protect the rights of our respective citizens. I am appreciative of the fact that our elected Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer and Senator Steve McClure voted against HB 5471, and recognize that this is a clear violation of the Constitution and an overreach of the State government.”

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The sheriff’s notion would prove accurate as according to The Daily Wire, “Clinton County Sheriff Dan TravousMacoupin County Sheriff Shawn Kahl, and Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing made similar statements,” all of them explaining that their departments would not conduct any of the investigations prescribed by the new law nor arrest any citizens on charges pertaining to it.

The Madison County Sheriff, Jeff Connor, and Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine also published a joint statement that emphasized the legal challenges that the law enforcement officials expect the new law to face based on previous Supreme Court rulings such as 2022’s New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, as reported by The Daily Wire.

“As with any statute passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, it is presumed constitutional,” the sheriff and state attorney wrote. “But we are acutely aware that this statute touches on t fundamental constitutional issues and is in obvious tension with recent and binding Supreme Court precedent on the Second Amendment.”

“Among other things, it bans many of the most popular firearms in America, firearms that are currently in common use for lawful purposes and which law-abiding citizens have legally owned for many years,” the two continued. “Whatever the policy justification, such a ban is hard to square with the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Bruen, which state simply: “the Second Amendment protects the possession and use of weapons that are ‘in common use at the time.'”

The statement explained, “Based on the analysis above, we expect a strong fourth challenge to HB 5471 in short order. We trust that this legislative overreach will not stand. In the meantime, we remain focused on reducing violent crime.”

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