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McHenry Township votes to become a gun sanctuary

Board member seeks support from township on resolution

McHenry Township Trustee Steve Verr speaks at a board meeting Dec. 20 in Johnsburg.
McHenry Township Trustee Steve Verr speaks at a board meeting Dec. 20 in Johnsburg.

McHenry Township board trustees voted unanimously on adopting a resolution to make the township border a sanctuary for gun owners at the township board meeting Thursday evening.

A gun sanctuary prohibits or impedes the enforcement of certain gun-control measures perceived as violative of the Second Amendment.

The reason for the vote at the township level, Trustee Steve Verr said, is because McHenry County won’t take a vote on the resolution.

“When so many counties are adopting it, there’s no need for township to adopt it. It’s only when things get stagnated at the county level where the townships can take action, so we're doing that right here and now, and we're making a statement to the county board to let this thing come up for a vote,” Verr said.

While Board Supervisor Craig Adams was not against the gun sanctuary resolution, he said it should've been done at the county level instead.

“If we pass this, we have no agreements with the sheriffs in the township areas. It has no teeth,” he said. “I would refer to the county because they have law enforcement.”

Sue Rose, of Wonder Lake, agreed with Adams that at the township level, the resolution is "pointless." Some residents tore up the resolution, showing opposition to the pro-gun measure.

McHenry County board member Chuck Wheeler was there to gain support from the township. Wheeler said over 60 counties in Illinois have become gun sanctuaries.

“It’s something that’s not out in left field, it’s something that’s very mainstream. It’s something that's also you as the township can strengthen the efforts of this and basically do both,” Wheeler said.

Verr pointed out that a "number of townships" also have done this because of particular inaction in counties, including Plainfield Township.

Over the course of eight months of hearings, meetings and talks, the resolution has not made it onto the county agenda, Wheeler said.

"We appreciate any support we can get from our township," he said .

Wheeler currently is seeking to turn the issue over to the people. He needs more than 9,000 signatures by Aug. 3 to put an advisory referendum to protect gun rights on the general election ballot in November.

Verr added to the discussion House Bill 961 in Virginia, which prohibits sale, transport, etc., of assault firearms, certain firearm magazines, silencers and trigger activators.

"I think there are number of bills floating in Springfield to do the same thing here," he said. "This is a message. You can call it symbolic if you want."

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