Lawsuit From Naperville Gun Shop Owner Aims to Prevent Enforcement of Assault Weapons Ban

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A lawsuit by a local gun shop owner in Naperville is asking a judge to prevent the state, Chief of Police, and the city of Naperville from enforcing a stricter gun ordinance and the new assault weapons ban. 

Robert Bevis owns a family-owned business Law Weapons and Supply in Naperville.

“I wake up one morning, I come into work and find out that they are going to ban assault weapons the following week,” said Bevis. 

Bevis and the National Association for Gun Rights filed a lawsuit against the city of Naperville and Police Chief Jason Arres over an ordinance that was passed in August which would ban semi-automatic weapon sales. 

It was amended to include the statewide assault weapons ban that was signed into law on Jan. 10 by Gov. Pritzker

“It’s unconstitutional. Our second amendment provides us a right to keep and bear arms, and this is taking away,” Bevis said. 

He said a stay order delayed the ordinance which allows him to sell the banned weapons, but the assault weapons ban doesn’t let people purchase those weapons. 

Therefore, he said the gun control laws have decreased sales significantly for him. 

“We are down about 70 percent of what we normally do over the average over the last five years,” Bevis said. 

"Neither the City nor Chief Arres are the appropriate parties to defend the state's new law and that if the Plaintiffs have an objection to the state law, they should take it up directly with the state in a separate legal action,” a statement from a Naperville city attorney said.

The basis of the lawsuit rooted in whether or not the laws will be enforced. 

DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick did not respond to an inquiry from NBC 5, though said earlier this week he will not enforce provisions of the assault weapons ban.

“There is absolutely nothing that we are doing or not doing that would make a mass shooting more accessible in DuPage County,” Mendrick said.

For Bevis, the lawsuit and efforts against the legislation are about protecting rights.

“We are doing this to help the whole state of Illinois. We are doing this to try to defend our rights,” Bevis said. 

The city said in a statement that they will “continue to defend its ordinance which is designed to protect the health and safety of the community.”

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