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updated: 10/23/2010 11:08 PM

46th District candidates disagree on gun control

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  • Deborah O'Keefe Conroy

    Deborah O'Keefe Conroy

  • Dennis Reboletti

    Dennis Reboletti


The candidates for the 46th District state representative seat in the Nov. 2 election both say they want to prevent deaths and tragedies resulting from gun use.

But Democratic challenger Deborah O'Keefe Conroy and Republican incumbent Dennis Reboletti support changes to different aspects of state gun-control laws.

Conroy, of Elmhurst, said she supports more regulations on gun dealers and gun purchasers.

"I support that people have the right to bear arms - that's in the Constitution," Conroy said. "But I also support everything and anything we can do to make it safer for our law enforcement people on the street as well as individual constituents and children."

Illinois requires gun purchasers to receive a Firearm Owner's Identification card, which checks their name with several databases to ensure they have no criminal background. But Conroy said she thinks gun purchasing regulations could be stronger.

"We need to buy the guns from licensed gun dealers. We need to have background checks done," Conroy said. "There have just been an innumerable amount of tragedies that could have been prevented had we had these things strongly in place."

Reboletti, also of Elmhurst, said Illinois is one of only a few states that requires FOID cards and he believes the regulation is strong enough. He said he has focused on the criminal end of gun control during his time in office, enacting legislation to send anyone caught selling a firearm illegally and anyone carrying ammunition without a FOID card to jail.

"What we want to do is send the message that we are going to go after people that are the ones that are selling the guns that end up killing other people," Reboletti said. "I tried to stay with my focus on the criminal activity with the firearms."

Reboletti said he worked with a rare combination of the National Rifle Association and the city of Chicago on the gun control laws he supported.

The NRA gave Reboletti an A rating in its political endorsements, which means the pro-firearm organization sees him as a "solidly pro-gun candidate." A candidate who has supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office or a candidate with a demonstrated record of support on Second Amendment issues.

Conroy received a question mark rating, which according to the NRA's website, means she did not reply to the organization's questionnaire.

Conroy said the NRA's positive rating for Reboletti illustrates the reasons she disagrees with him about gun control laws.

"I think Mr. Reboletti and I are in direct contrast here," she said. "He received not only the endorsement from the NRA, but an A rating, which is unusual to receive."

Reboletti and Conroy are squaring off to represent all or parts of Addison, Bensenville, Elmhurst, Itasca, Lombard, Villa Park and Wood Dale in the Illinois House.