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Ballot Questions In Illinois Counties Linked Gun Control With Immigration

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In Illinois, the debate over gun control was waged in county-wide elections.


Voters in more than a dozen counties recently approved measures urging the state not to pass further gun control measures. And in several counties, the proposals added immigration to the mix.

Some of these ballot questions asked if their county should become a "sanctuary county" for gun owners. This language evokes the term "sanctuary cities," including Chicago, which have immigration policies that clash with federal guidelines.

In Logan County, in the central part of the state, the ballot question linked immigration and gun control in an even more direct way. The question was a mouthful:


Shall Logan become a 'sanctuary county' for all firearms unconstitutionally prohibited by the government of the State of Illinois, for everyone except for undocumented immigrants, in that Logan County will prohibit its employees from enforcing the unconstitutional actions of the state government.

The measure passed with 63 percent of the vote.

Floyd Holkenbrink is the chairman of the Cumberland County board. His county is one that also had this issue on the ballot. He said a member of their community who runs a gun store and offers concealed carry classes first brought it to the board's attention.

"So he was concerned and he came to the county board and asked us to pass a resolution saying we're opposed to some of these new laws they were going to make."


One of those would have required all Illinois gun dealers to be certified and registered with the state.

This past spring, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill aiming to do that.


After the resolution passed, they thought they should ask voters if they agreed. The referendum passed with more than 90 percent of the vote.

Cook Countyalso had a gun-related referendum. Unlike the other counties, Cook asked its voters if the state should require gun dealers be licensed with the state. Cook County’s referendum also asked Illinois to strengthen penalties for illegal firearm trafficking, which has had a profound effect on the city of Chicago.

The referendum also passed with more than 90 percent.