Illinois Town Celebrates Independence Day By Becoming 2A Sanctuary

Illinois Town Celebrates Independence Day By Becoming 2A Sanctuary
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

First of all, Happy Independence Day to you, and I hope your July 4th is filled with freedom-enhancing activities like a trip to the gun range, some time at the reloading bench, or even perusing episodes of Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co that you might have missed the first time around. May your day be sunny and bright, your grill full of burgers and hot dogs, and your night filled with the starbursts and sparkling showers of fireworks.

There are lots of ways to celebrate our country’s birthday, but the Illinois village of South Jacksonville has come up with a great one: declaring itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary.

On July 4th, Village Mayor Tyson Manker will be signing mayoral order 01-2021 declaring the sanctuary and as the order stands “prohibits the use of local taxpayer resources to confiscate firearms.” The signing of the order on July 4th will have State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer, Morgan County Sheriff Mike Carmody, Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy and Murrayville Police Chief Derek Suttles, South Jacksonville Police Chief Eric Hansell, Village Trustees John Stewart and Mike Broaddus, and former retail gun store owner Tom Holmes on hand for what Manker has characterized as a “symbolic declaration” of protecting the U.S. Constitution’s 2nd Amendment.

Now, as the mayor says, this move is largely symbolic, given that it applies only to using taxpayer money to “confiscate firearms.” If the mayor wants to take a more substantive step, he could revise this order to expand the prohibition to include any and all new gun control laws and executive orders emanating from Washington, D.C.

Still, the intent behind the mayor’s order is clear, and it’s great to see other local officials coming out in support of the village declaring itself a safe haven for gun owners. It’s also interesting to note that the order will be signed at the business once owned by Tom Holmes, the “former gun store owner” mentioned above.

Holmes decided to close his business after the state passed new gun laws that tightened regulation on retail gun stores. Manker says the ending of Holmes’ business should have never happened: “Over-burdensome gun laws made it too restrictive for him to carry on business. If we don’t stand up to those types of activities that often come from the more progressive-minded wing of our government, then we are going to end up in a bad place. What happened to Mr. Holmes and his stores should have never happened, and yet it did. Here in South Jacksonville, we are taking a stand for Second Amendment rights.”

The Firearms Dealer License Certification Act in Illinois has put a number of small, independent gun stores out of business because they found it impossible to comply with new requirements imposed by the state. But the South Jacksonville mayor isn’t just angry about the gun control laws imposed by Democrats in his state. He’s got a message for Joe Biden too.

“Making regular activities of normal, American citizens criminal, that’s a problem. We are certainly at an important moment in our American history, but I can assure everyone, including the people of South Jacksonville, and including the federal government that here in South Jacksonville, we believe in the right to bear arms, and the local government will take active measures to protect those who live here, to protect their right to bear arms.”

South Jacksonville is the only community I know of that’s declaring itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary today, but they’re not alone in sending a message to Washington, D.C. Nearly 2,000 counties are now Second Amendment sanctuaries, including all those in states that have adopted 2A Sanctuary legislation. More than half the counties in the country (along with hundreds of villages, cities, and towns) have declared their independence from the federal government when it comes to enforcing new gun control laws, and today’s a perfect opportunity for South Jacksonville to join the club.