Perry County board votes to become "gun sanctuary county" - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Perry County board votes to become "gun sanctuary county"

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PERRY COUNTY, Ill. - In a 2-1 vote Thursday, the Perry County board passed a resolution to become a gun sanctuary county. 

The resolution opposes a number of gun control bills making their way through the state legislature, including one that raises the legal age to own what it terms "assault weapons" from 18 to 21.

"I believe a lot of the people in Perry County would agree with it because they are avid gun owners and because they go hunting and sport shooting," said county commissioner Robert Kelly.

Kelly voted for the resolution and says it's a symbolic move to make a statement to lawmakers in Springfield. 

"We're not here to override the state or federal laws," Kelly said. "We're just sending a message up saying 'hey, we like what we do down here and we have it under control.'"

County board chairman Jim Epplin voted against the resolution, saying though he isn't anti-gun, its important that everyone feel safe in the community.

"I do have a problem with parents have to be concerned for the safety of their children when they send them to school," Epplin said.

Dustin Smith, co-owner of Manns Sporting Goods in Pinckneyville says he was glad to see the measure pass. 

He says the bills going through Springfield would hurt businesses and people who legally purchase and use guns.

"You get the people who are the law abiding citizens who aren't breaking the law," Smith said. "You get the people who are possessing them illegally or possessing them illegally, they're breaking the law to start with."

With the vote, Perry County becomes the fifth gun sanctuary county in the state joining Effingham, Iroquois, Jefferson, and Saline counties.

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