TAYLORVILLE — Christian County became the latest Illinois county Tuesday to adopt a gun sanctuary resolution.
Vicki McMahon, the county board member who sponsored the resolution and the chairwoman of the Christian County NRA affiliate, said she hopes the unanimous passage of the resolution lets legislators know that people in Christian County do not want additional gun laws.
"Some of the legislation that has been presented (in Illinois) lately, it is a definite infringement on our constitutional rights," McMahon said after the county board meeting. "We feel that we're the ones who are following the rules. We get our (Firearm Owner Identification Card), we get our conceal carry permits. We wait our days and make sure we are purchasing legal guns. We're not the ones who are the problem. The person doing the bad deeds, that will continue, and these laws aren't going to do anything to them."
At least five other rural Illinois counties -- Effingham, Iroquois, Jefferson, Perry and Saline -- recently passed resolutions declaring themselves sanctuary counties for gun owners.
The terminology comes from so-called sanctuary cities such as Chicago that don't cooperate with aspects of federal immigration enforcement.
The resolution approved Tuesday "demands that the Illinois General Assembly cease further actions restricting the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and hereby demand that the governor of Illinois veto all such legislation..."
The resolution also states that "if the governor of Illinois shall infringe upon the inalienable rights granted by the Second Amendment, Christian County shall become a 'sanctuary county' for all firearms unconstitutionally prohibited by the government of Illinois."
Christian County State's Attorney Mike Havera said the resolution is symbolic, and does not trump any federal, state or local laws.
"It lets our legislators know the county values its Second Amendment rights," Havera said.
Christian County Board Chairman Tim Carlson said he was not surprised that the resolution passed so easily.
"We don't need more (gun) laws. Enforce the laws that are on the book," Carlson said.
McMahon said that in the future, she hopes state legislators look at proposed gun laws with a different perspective.
"I hope they start basing some of their decisions and legislative proposals more on evidence-based research that says it's not the responsible gun owner (that is the problem). It's the criminal or the person who intends to do bad. That's where the focus needs to be, and how do we stop that."
At the beginning of Tuesday's meeting, Carlson gave the public a chance to comment on items on the agenda. No one stepped forward to talk.
Christian County Board members Craig Corzine and Chad Michel were not at Tuesday's meeting.