Naperville residents at odds over proposed assault weapons ban
Naperville residents are at odds over a proposal that would ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines within city limits.
NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Naperville residents are at odds over a proposal that would ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines within city limits.
A city council meeting on Tuesday evening was standing room only – as passionate residents on both sides weighed in on the hot button issue.
The meeting marked the first reading of the proposed ordinance – and no votes were taken. Still, hundreds of people attended, with more than 50 community members addressing the council directly and dozens more submitting written opinions.
“We believe that this is an important step to protect city residents and send a message that our city is one that abhors gun violence,” said Barbara Vernon, who is in favor of the proposed ban.
“Reducing the magazine size will not change anything and I have the statistics to prove that,” said Kelly Lestina, who opposed the proposed ban.
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The proposal defines assault weapons by more than 100 types and brand names. The ordinance cites mass shootings across the country, including the Independence Day parade massacre in Highland Park earlier this month, as reasons for the ban.
Those in favor of it say the ordinance would make the community safer.
“You all get to tell this community and the rest of the country, we are not going to willingly participate in helping mass shooters arm themselves,” said Mark Winters, who is in favor of the proposed ban. “We are not going to sit on our hands while these men go hunting for human beings.”
On the other side were community members who said they believe this wouldn’t stop anyone from committing a crime, along with local gun store owners who fear the ban would shut them down.
“If you pass that ordinance, you will literally destroy, in the blink of an eye, everything my family has spent a large part of their lives building together,” said Robert Bevis, owner of Law Weapons & Supply in Naperville.
Council members are set to vote on the ordinance at their next city council meeting on Tuesday, August 16.
If it passes, the ordinance would take effect on January 1, 2023.