As your Sheriff, it is the sworn responsibility of myself and my deputies to protect the citizens of Kendall County. This is a responsibility I consider critically important. As such, I would like to give an update on the recent passage of HB 5471, also known as the Protect Illinois Communities Act.
In short, HB 5471 bans the sale of “assault-style semi-automatic weapons” and certain types of magazines effective immediately. It also requires existing owners of semi-automatic rifles to register their ownership.
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 enumerated rights is “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” provided under the 2nd amendment. The right to keep and bear arms for the defense of life, liberty, and property is regarded as an inalienable right by the people.
While I support legislation intended to increase the safety of our community, I do not believe HB 5471 will accomplish this goal, and I believe that it infringes on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. Further, I do not believe stricter gun control laws or disarming law-abiding citizens will make the State of Illinois or the citizens of Kendall County any safer. The constitutionality of HB 5471 will almost certainly be challenged in court and I look forward to a court ruling that resolves this matter.
I understand there will be questions and concerns regarding the passing of this bill from law-abiding citizens of Kendall County. My office is actively working with the Kendall County State’s Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement partners to determine and address the full ramifications of this legislation.
Dwight A. Baird
Sheriff, Kendall County