Sheriffs in 80 Illinois Counties Say They Will Not Enforce ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban

Sheriffs in 80 Illinois counties are making clear they will not enforce the “assault weapons” ban Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law on Tuesday.

Breitbart News reported that the “assault weapons” ban targets commonly owned semiautomatic rifles and requires those who already own such rifles to register them with the Illinois State Police.

Pritzker’s office released a statement upon his signing of the bill. It highlighted the registration requirement: “The new law also requires existing owners of semi-automatic rifles to register their ownership, ensuring that law enforcement knows the location of these weapons of war and who to hold accountable if they fall into the wrong hands.”

Edwards County Sheriff Darby Boewe was quick to clarify that he will not be enforcing the ban.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) hugs gun control advocate Maria Pike after he signed comprehensive legislation to ban “military-style” firearms on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, IL. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Boewe released a statement, which said, in part:

Part of my duties that I accepted upon being sworn into office was to protect the rights provided to all of us, in the Constitution. One of those rights enumerated is the right of the people to KEEP and BEAR ARMS provided under the 2nd Amendment. The right to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property is regarded as an inalienable right by the people.

He referred to the semiautomatic rifle ban as “a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

On January 14, 2023, the Lake & McHenry County Scanner reported that 79 other Illinois sheriffs have taken a similar position to Boewe’s and refuse to enforce to the “assault weapons” ban.

This means the sheriffs in 80 of Illinois’ 102 counties will not mandate compliance with Pritzker’s gun ban.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at

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