By: Robert Davis

The Effingham County (Illinois) Board adopted a largely symbolic resolution declaring it a sanctuary for gun owners and directing its employees not to enforce any new law that would “unconstitutionally restrict the Second Amendment.”

Effingham County Board Vice Chairman Dave Campbell said the vote was aimed at the state government in Springfield which has introduced multiple pieces of legislation restricting gun sales and access to firearms.

“Someone has to stand up to Springfield and show that we do support the Second Amendment in Illinois,” Campbell told GPM.

“The symbolism of the resolution is really to show that we will welcome any law-abiding gun owner into Effingham County,” County Sheriff Dave Mahon told Gunpowder Magazine. “The decision was largely made by the county board and state’s attorney. It won’t change any laws in the county.”

Mahon said if potentially unconstitutional laws were passed by the state affecting the Second Amendment, he would consult with State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler and the legal counsel of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association before deciding what actions to take.

The board meeting had one of the highest attendances for this term. Nearly 70 residents were present. Out of the five people who spoke to the board during the meeting, three spoke about the sanctuary resolution. Two residents were not in favor of the resolution. John Haslett spoke in favor of the it, focusing his comment on the rarity of shootings by lawful gun owners. He argued that far more people die from tobacco and alcohol use than are killed by people who legally own guns.

“We, as a society, need to stop thinking about things that don’t matter,” Haslett said.

The resolution also opposed a number of bills currently active at the General Assembly, including one vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner that would have required additional registration for gun shops.

Robert Davis is a journalist from Colorado. He covers defensive gun use and Second Amendment policy for Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him at

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