DUPAGE COUNTY, Ill. – State Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, D-Naperville, and State Sen. Laura Ellman, D-Naperville, responded to DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick’s refusal to uphold the recently passed Protect Illinois Communities Act, an expansive gun safety bill that will curb gun violence that afflict countless Illinois communities:
“Last week, the Protect Illinois Communities Act was passed and signed into law, banning new sales of assault rifles, extended magazines, and rapid-fire modifications,” Yang Rohr said. “This historic and commonsense piece of legislation promises to save lives and make Illinois families safer by restricting access to weapons of war like those used in the mass shooting at a 4th of July parade in Highland Park. The Sheriff’s unilateral refusal to uphold a duly-passed piece of legislation, that will save lives, on personal grounds and irrespective of the proven constitutionality of prior assault weapons bans could make victims of countless Illinois families.”
The Protect Illinois Communities Act was a product of the House Democratic Firearm Safety and Reform Working Group, featuring hours of testimony from gun violence victims, their advocates, law enforcement agencies and representatives and leading experts on the topic.
Prior assault weapons bans, including a federal ban passed in 1994 and sunsetted in 2004, have been upheld as constitutionally sound.
“Public officials in Illinois have sworn an oath to uphold the law, and for a sheriff to arbitrarily refuse to do so is a flagrant violation of that oath“ Ellman said. “Sheriffs and law enforcement officials don’t get to choose which laws they want to enforce, and so we have to ask ourselves if Sheriff Mendrick and others operate with too much latitude on the question of enforcement. I will continue to stand for the public safety of Illinois families, and I encourage Sheriff Mendrick to reconsider his stance.”
“I and Senator Ellman joined with DuPage area representatives to issue a formal letter addressing this issue,” Yang Rohr said. “We will continue to stand with our colleagues and this letter and stand up to those who think they are above the law and above enforcing the law.”