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Article posted: 6/22/2013 11:32 AM

Hanover Park considers assault weapons ban

By Kimberly Pohl

Hanover Park officials are weighing a ban on assault weapons in the village.

After a brief discussion Thursday the board tabled the issue until next month, but not before a roomful of gun rights supporters urged them to drop the idea.

More than a dozen people spoke up, saying a ban would be ineffective and restrict their Second Amendment rights.

"I've served my country and I don't want my rights taken away from me," said Bill Fischer, a veteran and 30-year resident of Hanover Park.

Several municipalities, including Buffalo Grove, Highland Park and Lake Forest, have discussed banning assault weapons, after the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation allowing concealed carry -- the last state in the nation to do so.

The bill, which awaits Gov. Pat Quinn's signature, includes a provision that home rule communities such as Hanover Park will be able to ban assault weapons if they act within 10 days of Quinn signing the bill into law.

The northern half of Hanover Park is already governed by Cook County's assault weapons ban, which was passed in 2006, village attorney Bernard Paul said. The southern part is in DuPage County, which has no ban.

The board appears to be split on the issue.

Trustees Rick Roberts and Jon Kunkel, who are both veterans, indicated they would support the ordinance.

"I don't see any use for (assault weapons) outside the military," said Kunkel, who served in the U.S. Army.

But Trustee Jenni Konstanzer, who grew up around guns and has sons in the military, said she opposes the ordinance as written and asked Police Chief David Webb to find out how many crimes in the village involved an assault weapon. Trustee James Kemper also voice opposition.

Other officials said they want to wait for more information, and process the comments made during the meeting's town hall session.

If the ban is approved, any Hanover Park resident in possession of a prohibited assault weapon or large-capacity magazine would have 90 days from the effective date to remove it from the village, surrender it to the police or modify it in some way so it doesn't meet the village's definition of a banned item.

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