Naperville free to enforce gun sale ban after ruling, city attorney says

The Naperville Police Department is free to enforce a city ordinance banning the sale of certain high-powered rifles after a federal judge rejected a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.

That's according to City Attorney Mike DiSanto, who also said Monday that there likely will be a grace period while the details of enforcement are sorted and there's communication with the affected businesses. Those conversations, he said, are expected this week.

"Our stay that we had agreed to concerning enforcement of the city ordinance is now over," DiSanto said. "That happens automatically as part of the order. Our ordinance is now in effect in Naperville. The commercial sale of assault rifles are regulated per the ordinance."

Virginia Kendall, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, issued the ruling Friday in the lawsuit brought by Robert Bevis, owner of Law Weapons and Supply in Naperville, and the National Association for Gun Rights against the city of Naperville and Police Chief Jason Arres.

As of early Monday afternoon, DiSanto said, the city hadn't heard from the plaintiffs regarding their next step. They could continue to pursue the injunction with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals or focus on the original lawsuit arguing the constitutionality of the ordinance.

Representatives for the plaintiffs could not be reached on Monday.

The city's ordinance, which was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, affects Law Weapons and Supply and another gun shop, Range USA, as well as some other businesses, including pawnshops.

Private sales of the weapons are not prohibited, and residents are not blocked from owning them.

A broader state law makes it illegal to sell or purchase certain weapons, attachments and cartridges, with exceptions for law enforcement and military personnel similar to the city ordinance.

DiSanto said guidance would be sought from the Illinois Attorney General's office regarding enforcement of the state law.

"If the plaintiffs decide to continue to litigate this," DiSanto said, "the city's prepared to defend it and believes this is in the best interest of the safety and welfare of our community."

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