On March 31, 2017, I wrote a column about immigration under presidents Trump and Obama.

At the end I had a mild rant about “sanctuary cities.”

That’s where cities decide to ignore immigration laws because those laws are sorely outdated. They simply won’t abide by the federal immigration laws in place.

I wrote:

Well, if that argument holds water, I want in on some of that action.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 says I can’t own a Thompson submachine gun without a federal transfer. I contend that law is outdated. I mean, come on, it was written in 1934, the year John Dillinger died.

I live in Syracuse.

Maybe my police chief, Jim Layne, and my (then) town manager, Henry DeJulia, could declare Syracuse a sanctuary from the 1934 NFA.

Then I could own a Thompson without fear of reprisal from the feds.

Come to think of it, maybe we’ve been looking at federal authority all wrong. Think of all the federal laws you could dodge if you just convinced city officials to declare sanctuaries.

I’m calling Mayor Joe Thallemer. Let’s make Warsaw the IRS sanctuary!”

Of course, that was all tongue in cheek. A joke.

But interestingly, I was reading a story last week in the Chicago Tribune by Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas and it seems some jurisdictions in Illinois – and other states – are actually doing something similar with regard to gun laws.

See, living in Illinois is vastly different from living in Chicago.

And many laws – especially with respect to firearms – are passed by the Illinois legislature with Chicago in mind.

So the whole state gets strapped by highly restrictive gun laws that really make no sense outside of Chicago – if they even make sense in Chicago.

So several jurisdictions in Illinois are taking action.

According to Rosenberg-Douglas’ story:

It was no accident Effingham County’s resolution to protect the rights of gun owners stole an important word from the very people the resolution was intended to provoke, supporters of the country’s sanctuary cities movement.

Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler last month told a raucous crowd the origin story behind the “Second Amendment sanctuary county” movement, which began in Effingham and now includes 64 of the state’s 102 counties, counties in three other states, and nine more states in which counties are eyeing similar nonbinding measures. And as state legislators, emboldened by (Illinois Democrat) Gov. J.B. Pritzker, look at more gun-control measures, counties are looking at more ways to resist them.

Effingham County is in south-central Illinois, right on I-70. Demographically, it probably lines up pretty well with a place like Kosciusko County.

The story says Effingham County Board member David Campbell came to Kibler with a resolution passed by Iroquois County about gun rights.

Campbell told Kibler he wanted to do something similar but wanted to make the language “a little more provocative.”

He told Kibler, “Well, they’re creating sanctuary counties for illegals up in Chicago, why don’t we just steal their word and make Effingham County a sanctuary county for firearms?”

When Kibler relayed this to the crowd at a conservative gathering, it got massive applause.

Effingham County’s 2018 resolution claimed that at least five parts of proposed Illinois legislation dealing with gun ownership run afoul of the Second Amendment, which, of course, would render them unconstitutional.

The parts of the law the resolution targeted dealt with raising the minimum age to buy a gun to 21 and  outlawing various types of weapons.

The resolution also demanded “the Illinois General Assembly cease further actions restricting the right of the people to keep and bear arms” and also asked the governor to veto any such bills.

When the measure passed in the spring of 2018, the story notes, it seemed like a publicity stunt.

But now, not only have a bunch of other counties signed on, county sheriffs and states attorneys in other countys have gone on the record as supporting such measures.

They’ve went as far as to vow to use their discretion and not enforce new gun laws.

Effingham County just this month raised the stakes by passing a resolution to ban state firearms owners’ identification cards.

Campbell told the Chicago Tribune that before the resolution even passed, 20 other Illinois counties had contacted him to get a copy.

See, people in downstate Illinois see these laws as cumbersome and unnecessary. These folks identify more strongly with places like Indiana and Kentucky than they do with Chicago. So laws crafted to curb extreme gun violence of the type seen in Chicago make no sense to them.

States Attorney Kibler told the Chicago Tribune, “We don’t have the luxury of trying to enforce the laws that come down from on high from liberal jurisdictions while we’re making record numbers of arrests in a meth epidemic.”

I can’t disagree with that line of reasoning.

Now, of course, all of this will wind up before the Illinois Supreme Court. But as more jurisdictions sign on to the idea of establishing gun law sanctuaries, it should be quite interesting to see how it all plays out.