The Plainfield Township Board of Trustees adopted a resolution earlier this month declaring the township a Second Amendment “lawful gun owner sanctuary township.”
The resolution, which the board passed unanimously April 9, also states that the township government “supports the rights of lawful gun owners to lawfully use firearms; to defend themselves, their loved ones and other innocents; to lawfully hunt to provide sustenance for their families; and to lawfully participate in shooting sports up to and including Olympic sports.”
It went on to state the board’s opposition to “further interference with, or abridging of, the rights of lawful gun owners” and “gun control or ‘gun safety’ legislation, state, federal, or local.”
Plainfield Township Trustee Ernie Knight said he authored the resolution in response to the “plethora of gun control legislation” coming out of the General Assembly in Springfield.
He said he is alarmed at the “entire attitude” of the state legislature, particularly since Gov. J.B. Pritzker took office.
“Almost everything that they’ve been proposing will affect lawful gun owners,” Knight said. “They will not change anything in regard to criminal violence.”
Knight said laws such as the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act, which requires inventory control, video surveillance and licensed gun dealers to register with the state, only create burdens for lawful gun owners and without doing anything to stop criminals.
He added that he would rather see laws implementing mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes and improved reporting on background checks, and laws that don’t call for unfunded mandates local law enforcement agencies cannot afford.
Knight said there is little the township can actually do to enforce Second Amendment rights, but the resolution is meant to send a message to the state government.
When asked why he used the term “sanctuary township,” Knight cited numbers from gunrightswatch.com, which he said show dozens of other local governments having passed resolutions with similar language.
State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, said she wants to ensure the wrong people don’t get guns while protecting gun rights, but added the legislation she’s seen doesn’t do that. She called the resolution a “political tactic” to rally support for a “highly political issue.”