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SHELBYVILLE -- The Shelby County Board is expected Wednesday (June 13) morning to take up a measure similar to a "gun sanctuary" proposal approved first in Effingham and then in dozens of other counties so far across the state.

The board meets starting at 9 a.m. in the courthouse in Shelbyville, in Courtroom B. The seventh item on the agenda states: "Chairman David Cruitt -- Reaffirmation of Resolution 2003-21 in support of 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

The word "sanctuary," often associated with a policy used to protect immigrants from deportation in certain cities across the nation, has been embraced by a growing number of rural Illinois counties intent on protecting gun rights.

The Democratic-led state legislature has considered a series of gun control measures, including a ban on bump stocks and an age restriction on select firearms, and local gun owners and supporters are taking notice.

One by one, many counties across the state are passing resolutions declaring themselves sanctuaries for gun owners, meaning they might not enforce gun control measures passed by state lawmakers that the county deems as interference with the Second Amendment.

Largely symbolic in nature, these resolutions are serving to send a message to Springfield on what downstate people think of the proposed gun control legislation.

This week, both Shelby and Clark counties could be among those to become "sanctuaries" for gun ownership.

The Shelby County Board started looking into the idea after its May meeting, at which one Shelby County resident, John Warren, requested that members consider joining the list of counties that have declared themselves sanctuary counties, as the JG-TC previously reported.

"Our general assemblies are wanting to regulate, regulate, regulate," Warren previously told the newspaper. "We need to, somewhere, as a community, say enough is enough."

Gun rights are critical for a large part of the county, he said. Shelby has a significant participation in shooting sports and youth gun clubs, Warren said.

Cruitt last month said the request was turned over to the law enforcement and legislative committee of the county board.

Clark County Board members also are expected to vote on a similar resolution at their meeting Friday in Marshall.

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Contact Jarad Jarmon at (217) 238-6839. Follow him on Twitter: @JJarmonReporter



Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

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