Just before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning — after several hours of heated discussion — Naperville City Council, by an 8-to-1 margin, passed an ordinance banning the commercial sale of high-capacity assault rifles and magazines in city limits.
Residents and business owners thronged City Hall in the western suburbs from Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning, with more than 130 people from both sides of the issue registering to speak.
“This common sense ordinance represents an important step in helping us live in peace and without fear,” said a woman who registered to speak, supporting the proposal.
But not everyone shared his view.
“This order will not allow me and other women access to the tools needed to defend our families in our own homes,” another resident said.
The order comes about six weeks after a suspected shooter killed seven people and injured more than 40 others with an assault rifle during a July 4 parade in Highland Park – which also has a municipal firearms ban. assault – about 45 miles away from Naperville.
The suspect, who has pleaded not guilty to more than 100 charges against him, legally bought the gun in 2020 after obtaining a gun owner’s identification card in 2019 with the help of sponsorship from his dad.
While dozens of people said the order was a step in the right direction, Robert Bevis, the owner of one of Naperville’s two gun stores, opposed it.
“It will bankrupt me – no doubt,” Bevis said. “Just losing the AR-15 – as a product we sell – would put me out of business.”
“It’s a program, its theatre, its smoke and its mirrors,” Bevis continued. “It’s not a way to stop crime or prevent a bad guy from getting a gun.”
Bevis, owner of Law Weapons and Supply, said he plans to take legal action against the city of Naperville.