Hundreds pack DuPage County Board meeting to criticize, laud sheriff over assault weapons ban

DuPage sheriff said he won't enforce law

Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Hundreds pack DuPage County Board meeting on assault weapons ban
EMBED <>More Videos

DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick was criticized and lauded in a packed county board meeting over the Illinois assault weapons ban.

WHEATON, Ill. (WLS) -- Assault weapons are at the center of a debate in DuPage County.

People for and against the controversial Illinois assault weapons ban showed up at a board meeting Tuesday in Wheaton after the sheriff there said he won't strictly enforce the new law.

Hundreds of residents are packed inside the DuPage County Board meeting to voice their concerns about the assault weapons ban.

"I fully support Sheriff Mendrick and thank him for his courage and dedication to upholding the Constitution of the United States," said David Lombardo of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

"I've been a lifelong resident of DuPage and I should be able to trust my sheriff to uphold the laws," said Kay Akins of Moms Demand Action gun control advocacy group.

Assault-style guns are no longer legal to purchase in Illinois. And if you already own them, you are now required by law to properly register your weapon or weapons.

SEE MORE: Emergency hearing held in attempt to stop Illinois assault weapons ban from being enforced

"If our new gun laws can save just one child, it's worth it. Do your job, Sheriff Mendrick. You are to enforce laws, not make them," said resident Jac West.

"Criminals are still going to get their hands on guns, whether the law's on the books or not, and most criminals using guns don't have a FOID to begin with. I would again like to thank Sheriff Mendrick for upholding the rights of the citizens of DuPage County," another said.

The large response comes after DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick said he would not enforce the ban. He is one of more than 80 of the 102 sheriffs in the state who said they are not enforcing the new law.

Medrick was not present at the meeting and has not responded to calls for comment.

He previously wrote the law is a "very poorly written piece of legislation that has no clear direction on who will be enforcing new gun laws."

Governor JB Pritzker, in Decatur for an unrelated event, said he is confident the law will stand up to numerous challenges filed in both state and federal court.

"I think they'll lose in the end. This is a constitutional law. It's in effect in eight other states. We're simply the ninth state to put it into effect. An assault weapons ban that'll save lives," Pritzker said.

A downstate judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing the law from being enforced, but only for the several hundred people named in the suit. The law remains in effect in DuPage County and much of the Chicago area.