Ban on sale of high-powered rifles in hours-long Naperville City Council meeting

Over 130 people on both sides of issue attended Naperville, IL meeting to voice their opinions

ByChristian Piekos via WLS logo
Thursday, August 18, 2022
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A ban on the sale of high-powered rifles and magazines was passed in an hours-long Naperville City Council meeting.

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- The Naperville City Council passed a ban on the sale of high-powered rifles in the city after an hours-long meeting that stretched from Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.

A contentious city council meeting heard hundreds of public comments before passing the ban 8-1.

"At the end of the day, we have to do what's right to protect the public and that's our job," said Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico.

Mayor Chirico said the vote to ban the sale of certain high powered rifles, including AR-15 style weapons, was meaningful and necessary in light of the 4th of July massacre in Highland Park, as well as mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.

He was even woken up to a thank you call from Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.

Over 130 people on both sides of the issue attended the meeting to voice their opinions.

"Criminals don't care about your laws. This ordinance will only hurt law abiding citizens," one person said.

SEE MORE: City of Naperville considers ban on commercial sale of semi-automatic rifles, some magazines

"We need to make these weapons as inaccessible as possible, so we support what Naperville is trying to do," another added.

The mayor said this vote is largely symbolic. However, the owner of this family run gun shop, Robert Bevis, said he doesn't know if he'll be able to keep his shop open when the ban goes into effect.

"Your political theater is more important to you than shutting down my family owned business," said Bevis, who owns Law Weapons and Supply. "Well, you're going to steal the job away from those employees who work there."

Bevis said he works closely with law enforcement to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them and claims the ordinance is useless.

"The people of Naperville wouldn't be safer because of this ordinance," he added.

But Mayor Chirico said even if it is challenged in court, the vote strikes at the core of Naperville values.

"This is important. And if it goes up the ladder, goes to trial and we lose, I think the very minimum that we can hope for is awareness and if that costs us some money then I think we all agree that it was worth it," Chirico said.

This ban on the sale of high-powered rifles came just a day after the Highland Park City Council passed a resolution calling for the outright ban of assault rifles on the state and national level.

Those found in violation of the ban could face a $1,000 fine the first time and a $2,500 penalty each time following.

"It is a small step that demonstrates local political will to start to make change and we hope that that will influence our state leaders, and hopefully our federal leaders, to take that larger step," Chirico said.

The ban is set to take effect January 1, 2023. It does not affect sales of high-powered rifles to law-enforcement or military personnel and it does not prohibit you from owning one.