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Police chief says Naperville still working on details to enforce ban on selling high-powered rifles

While acknowledging the remaining details to work out, Naperville’s police chief said he doesn’t anticipate significant compliance issues with the recently approved ban on the sale of certain high-powered rifles within city limits.

All gun purchases by applicable sellers are tracked, including sales by storefront businesses such as Range USA and Law Weapons and Supply. When the new city rule takes effect on Jan. 1, a $1,000 fine will be assessed for the first offense and a $2,500 fine for subsequent offenses.

Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres said a state police database would help flag sales that soon will be illegal. Arres said he doubts a business owner will try to circumvent the ordinance by not reporting sales.

“These gun dealers, they’re not going to risk their licenses,” Arres said. “It’s a business, right? So I can’t see them selling a firearm and not reporting it.”

Arres said fewer than 20 city businesses are licensed to sell the rifles listed on the sale ban ordinance, including pawnshops and individuals with Federal Firearms Licenses. Sales will be allowed to law enforcement officers and members of the military, and private sales will still be legal.

Arres said he envisions a partnership with the state police based on sharing database information, but he isn’t sure exactly what that would look like.

“I don’t have access to state police systems, so I don’t know what it looks like from their end,” Arres said. “We need to figure that part out.”

Arres said it’s also unclear what happens with the specific gun once it’s sold illegally. It’s legal for properly licensed individuals to own the guns, and the ordinance does not allow officers to retrieve the weapons.

According to statistics released last week, 84 illegal guns were seized by Naperville police officers in the first six months of 2022. Arres said continuing to take illegal guns off the street remains a priority.

“I will promise you we did prevent something — whether it was in Naperville or somewhere else — someone from using that firearm,” Arres said.

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