By Illinois Review
In an exclusive with Illinois Review on Thursday, former National Rifle Association (NRA) president and current board member David Keene offered words of support for DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, saying,
“Sheriff Mendrick is to be commended as an elected official who takes the oath he took when he was elected seriously. The legislation was passed even though its authors and those who voted for it knew it would never pass constitutional muster. We are fortunate that there are still men and women like Sheriff Mendrick who revere the Constitution and the Supreme Court and refuse to cower before political bullies.”
On January 10, 2023, Illinois became one of several states in the nation to ban assault weapons after Gov. JB Pritzker, D held a signing ceremony at the State Capitol in Springfield. After the ceremony, Prtizker spoke to the press, where he had a stern warning for conservative gun owners across the state: there will be consequences for not following the law.
Days later, several law enforcement agencies said they would not enforce the gun ban, prompting Gov. Pritzker to issue another stern warning: police will be fired for not enforcing the new law.
Since then, more than 80 sheriffs have said that they will not enforce the new assault weapons ban, including Mendrick, who issued a statement on January 13th, saying,
“I, among many others, believe that HB 5471 is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.
Therefore, as the custodian of the jail and chief law official for DuPage County, that neither myself nor my office will be checking to ensure that lawful gun owners register their weapons with the State, nor will we be arresting or housing law-abiding individuals that have been arrested solely with non-compliance of this Act.”
And as expected, the response from the Democrats was swift and immediate with many calling on Mendrick to retract his statement or resign.
DuPage County Chair Deb Conroy, a Democrat, has said that she plans to propose a resolution in February to censure Mendrick for what she calls, “engaging in inflammatory political rhetoric.”
On Tuesday, more than 200 conservative, law-abiding, pro 2nd Amendment Republicans filled the DuPage County board meeting, forcing the board to create an overflow room because of the record attendance in support of Mendrick.
On January 18th, the Illinois State Rifle Association filed a federal lawsuit challenging the assault weapons ban, following up on their promise on the day that Prizker signed the legislation into law, saying,
“Challenge accepted. The Illinois State Rifle Association will see the State of Illinois in court.”
On Thursday, ISRA Executive Director Richard A. Pearson offered this statement exclusive to Illinois Review in support of Mendrick,
“The ISRA is proud to support Sheriff Mendrick for refusing to enforce a clearly unconstitutional law passed by antigun zealots in the Illinois General Assembly. We support all sheriffs who stand against this terrible law.”
Sheriff Mendrick’s position that HR 5471 is unconstitutional is supported by a temporary restraining order entered last Friday by Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison in a lawsuit brought by former Illinois Attorney General candidate Tom DeVore challenging the assault weapons ban.