Williamson Co. IL passes gun control resolution

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - After a fairly heated public board meeting Friday morning, August 17, the Williamson County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution against a handful of gun control bills in Springfield, Illinois.

Although to the disappointment of some county residents, who were told that this would be a ballot question in November.

Williamson County is now the 38th county in the state of Illinois to pass this kind of resolution, according to County Commissioner Brent Gentry.

County Commissioner Ron Ellis spoke out against putting the question on the ballot because he sees it after a political tool by Republicans in Springfield, particularly Bruce Rauner, to get people to the polls on an election year.

"It's not about guns," he said. "It's not about guns rights. It's about the governor's office wanting to use this as a political advertising campaign to drive people to the polls."

The Board of Commissioners told the public that they couldn't agree on how to word the ballot question. The deadline to finalize it would have been August 20th.

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This is one reason they agreed to just pass the resolution as they originally worded it in June. Which takes a stance against five specific laws.

Before the meeting picked up, Williamson County's Assistant State Attorney, Wendy Cunningham, made it clear to residents in attendance that these resolutions hold no legal power in Springfield. State laws still trump these resolutions.

Several residents in attendance argued that having this question on the ballot would send a message to lawmakers at the capitol.

Chris Oraha spoke at the meeting, and was disappointed in the result but thinks the resolution is better than nothing.

"It was just a chance for the people to speak and we didn't get the chance to, and it's kinda demoralizing," he said. "The positive thing is that the county does have an insulator against any state laws that are gonna come down."

Commissioner Ellis doesn't think the residents who showed up to the meeting are too happy. He even says he's gotten threats since he started speaking out against the politics behind these resolutions. Still, he refuses to take part in a political game.

"We should have people who want to go to the polls without having an incentive to get there," he said. "That's wrong, but that's just the way Illinois politics are ran today."

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