Illinois Sheriff Says State’s Semiautomatic Ban Violates Constitution, and He Will Not Enforce It

The preamble of the United States Constitution, partial view (Getty Images)
Getty Images

Edwards County Sheriff Darby Boewe has made clear his position that Illinois’ new ban on commonly owned semiautomatic rifles violates the Constitution and he will not be enforcing it.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed the ban Tuesday night. Breitbart News noted the ban allows current owners of banned firearms to keep them, but requires them to register the firearms with the Illinois State Police.

Pritzker’s office released a statement  regarding the ban, which said, in part, “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.”

FOX News reported that Sheriff Boewe has no intention of enforcing the ban.

Boewe released a statement making his position clear:

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 added, “Therefore, as custodian of the jail and chief law enforcement officer for Edwards County, that neither myself or my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the state, nor will we be arresting or housing individuals that have been charged solely with non-compliance of this act.”

Boewe said he believes the semiautomatic rifle ban “is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Breitbart News pointed out that Illinois State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R) responded to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signing of the ban on commonly owned semiautomatic weapons by stating, “We will not comply.”

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 PhD 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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