The Lake County sheriff says he strongly backs Illinois’ newly signed law banning “assault weapons” and called semi-automatic rifles “nothing more than killing machines.”
Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said in a statement Thursday evening that there have been many questions on where he stands regarding House Bill 5471, also known as the Protect Illinois Communities Act.
Idleburg referenced the July 4 parade shooting in Highland Park and referred to a previous statement he released that said society has become numb to mass shootings.
“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,” Idleburg said in the previous July statement.
Governor JB Pritzker, surrounded by lawmakers and gun control activists, signed House Bill 5471 into law Tuesday evening at the Illinois Capitol Rotunda.
The act bans the sale and distribution of high-capacity weapons in the state effective immediately.
In addition to banning semi-automatic weapons, House Bill 5471 also caps sales of high-capacity ammunition magazines, bans “switches,” which convert handguns into automatic weapons.
The law requires existing owners of semi-automatic rifles to register their ownership.
“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,” Idleburg said Thursday.
Idleburg said firearms have become “much more sophisticated and much more deadly” since the Second Amendment was formed.
“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,” he said.
Idleburg said he was 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.”
“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,” Idleburg said.
“Like everything else we do in our profession, we will use discretion and common sense,” he added.
McHenry County Sheriff Robb Tadelman said in a statement Wednesday that his deputies would not be checking to ensure gun owners register their weapons are registered with the state.
He also said the sheriff’s office would not be arresting or holding individuals that have been charged with solely non-compliance of the new law.
“I, among many others, believe that HB 5471 is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution,” Tadelman said.