2/11/2013 1:22:00 PM Illinois sheriffs vote against weapons ban
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association (ISA) unanimously approved a resolution opposing proposed legislation that would ban certain types of guns at their winter training conference held in Springfield.
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp was one of 73 sheriffs in attendance at the Illinois conference who voted for the resolution against a weapons ban.
The ISA action mirrors that of the National Sheriffs’ Assocation which also voted not to support House Bill 132, which proposes the ban.
According to a resolution adopted at the conference, the Association says, “ the cause of violence, including gun violence, must be addressed on many fronts, including improved mental health treatment, media violence, drugs, gangs, breakdown of the family, and strengthening laws that prevent or reduce the access of legally prohibited persons to firearms,” along with vigorous enforcement of existing laws.
The ISA saya, the “Sheriffs strongly support our citizens’ protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association does not support any laws that deprive any citizen of the rights provided under the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
The Association says a comprehensive approach is needed to solve the problem of guns and extreme violence. Gun control alone will not solve the problem, the sheriffs say.
“Law enforcement must have access to relevant records to determine whether a person is legally prohibited from possession of firearms by major improvements in the National Instant Check System, ” the organization says.
They also stress the importance of access to mental health records for accurate background checks, for responding to 911 calls and for responding to those who suffer from mental issues.
“There must be great expansion of treatment resources for those that experience mental illness. We have an epidemic of untreated mental illness across the country, and there is a strong link between untreated mental illness and the increased risk of committing violent acts,” the organization states.
The focus should be primarily on the lack of mental health services in our country, according to the ISA. “County jails continue to detain individuals who have been remanded to the Department of Human Service Mental Health Division for treatment. On February 8th there were 68 of these individuals waiting for placement, some of which have been waiting for over four months.”
Ther Association call for vigorous prosecution of those who violate existing gun laws, including enhanced sentences. The sheriffs support enhanced firearms safety efforts including incentives to promote both safe and secure storage and use of firearms. And, they are promoting enhanced training, best practices policies and procedures and adequate resources for law enforcement, schools and those who operate other public facilities, to address active shooters and other safety threats.
The Sheriffs recognize the culture of violence on the internet, on television, in movies, and especially violent video games, that have a negative influence on our nation’s youth, they say.
“Rational law abiding citizens are not the cause of random acts of horrific violence in our communities,” the Association says. The group states that they believe it is their responsibility and duty to uphold the Constitution including the Second Amendment.