BLOOMINGTON — A policy change to stop prosecuting some gun laws in McLean County could lead to confusion for the public and headaches for law enforcement, according to Jason Chambers.
Chambers, who is running unopposed in November for McLean County state’s attorney, responded Tuesday to a statement from State’s Attorney Ron Dozier.
“Doing things in this manner is reckless. The job of the state’s attorney is to enforce the laws of the State of Illinois,” said Chambers.
Chambers said he has heard from two assistant state’s attorneys who do not intend to follow Dozier’s policy to pass on charges that might otherwise be filed against people who possess weapons and may be carrying them in violation of existing Illinois law.
Dozier’s response to Chambers comments: “He’s entitled to his opinion.”
Chambers worries that the public may misconstrue Dozier’s position and think they are allowed to carry weapons — something Dozier specifically speaks against in his four-page statement.
“This is reckless and unfair to the public,” said Chambers.
For law enforcement, the possibility that arrests stemming from the illegal use of a firearm will not result in charges could leave police looking for alternatives, such as federal weapons charges, said Chambers.
Dozier said he views his position as the county’s top prosecutor as a podium for addressing an important issue and a way to reach lawmakers who will consider concealed carry legislation.
Chambers, who also supports concealed carry, agreed that a public office can serve as a bully pulpit at times for issues.
“The office can be used to get attention for an issue but this is a little different because you’re refusing to enforce the law,” said Chambers.