No censure for DuPage Sheriff, agreement reached on weapons ban enforcement

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The DuPage County Board released a statement this afternoon stating Sheriff James Mendrick will enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act, the state’s new legislature banning certain assault weapons.

Statement from the DuPage County Board

“DuPage County Board Chair Deborah Conroy, Sheriff James Mendrick, and State’s Attorney Robert Berlin engaged in a meaningful conversation during which they discussed their shared commitment to the safety of DuPage County residents. The conversation also included a discussion of Illinois’ new assault weapons ban, known as the Protect Illinois Communities Act. Enforcement of this law does not demand that deputies go door to door seeking to remove weapons from those licensed to own them. With this understanding, Sheriff Mendrick is committed to enforcing all state and local laws. Chair Conroy is committed to supporting the Sheriff’s Office in maintaining safe communities within DuPage County and sees no reason to pursue a censure resolution at this time. All parties look forward to positive, productive collaboration on important initiatives that will keep DuPage residents safe and ensure the security of our communities moving forward.”

Resistance from Sheriff Mendrick

Earlier this month, Mendrick posted a statement saying he would not be checking to see if lawful gun owners register their weapons with the state, nor would he arrest or house anyone in jail solely for non-compliance with the ban. He called the ban a violation of the Second Amendment.

Mendrick’s stance drew disapproval from a number of lawmakers. Several local members of Congress wrote a letter to the sheriff, asking him to rescind his statement. 

Jan. 23 press conference

On Jan. 23, U.S. Representatives, state legislators, members of the Illinois congressional delegation, and DuPage County Board members met at the Danada House in Wheaton for a press conference, speaking out against Mendrick’s stance. During it, Rep. Sean Casten called for Mendrick to either retract his statement or resign. 

After the announcement, Mendrick released a statement saying the legislators held the press conference “to admonish and berate me, your DuPage County Sheriff, for questioning their authority of a very poorly written piece of legislation that has no clear direction on who will be enforcing new gun laws.”

Mendrick is one of dozens of Illinois sheriffs who have spoken out about the ban.

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