There have been many questions on where I stand regarding the assault weapons ban bill just signed into law. Following the horrifically tragic mass shooting right here in Highland Park, not seven months ago, along with the mass shootings we see on a weekly basis across our nation, I issued a statement, which remains true today.
I said: “As a society, so many have become numb to mass shootings as we read about them nearly every day. Then, on Independence Day, when our families, our children, our friends, were gathered along parade routes to celebrate this nation’s independence a calculated coward unleashed unprecedented terror on our community with a weapon of war. I truly hope this is the last mass shooting we live through before assault-style rifles are banned. Assault-style rifles are nothing more than killing machines, and they have no place in a civilized society. It is time action is taken. While the intent of my message is not meant to be political, I feel the most significant action that can be taken to minimize and prevent further carnage is by enacting a full ban on assault-style rifles.”
While I am a believer in our Constitution and our 2nd Amendment, I firmly support the ban on assault-style rifles and I truly hope our federal government follows to ban them nationwide. Since our Constitution and the 2nd Amendment were formed, firearms have become much more sophisticated and much more deadly. Our Founding Fathers were not loading .223 rounds into their muskets. They were not using firearms designed to disintegrate human bodies. As I said following the Highland Park mass shooting, these weapons of war do not belong on our streets. They’re used to kill our police, used to kill innocent people, and used to inflict maximum carnage on their victims.
Our Illinois legislators discussed and created a bill, which was amended several times, after input from law-enforcement and other stakeholders. The bill was voted on and passed. It was then signed by the governor, which makes the bill law. I, as your Sheriff, am sworn to enforce the law. It’s incredibly dangerous for me to cherry-pick and enforce only laws I agree with, or only laws I feel are important. That is not what our Constitution of the State or Illinois intends for law-enforcement. That is not what the people of Lake County or Illinois deserve.
It’s important to note, unfortunately many remain very divided in this country, which leads to mudslinging, hate, rumors, false information, and innuendo being spread, instead of fact. I ask everyone to take a deep breath. I encourage those who haven’t read the law to give it a read for themselves, instead of listening to others who might be spreading misleading or false information.
This law does not mean our deputies will be going door to door, asking for documentation on weapons. It does not mean we are forming a team to search your home for weapons. Like everything else we do in our profession, we will use discretion and common sense.I, along with other Lake County leaders have heard from thousands of people who support this legislation. I stand with the people of Lake County, and I will always do everything in my power to keep you safe.