North Barrington village board members voted 3 to 2 in favor of an assault weapons ban in the village Wednesday, but were advised that a minimum of four votes were necessary to pass such a law.
Village President Al Pino said only five members of the board were able to make Wednesday's hastily called emergency special meeting, which was intended to beat Friday's deadline for Illinois municipalities to consider such action.
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Trustees Lawrence Weiner and Martin Pais were absent, and trustees Jackie Andrew and Mark Kolar were the two who voted against the ban.
It is unclear at this writing why a simple majority of votes was not sufficient to pass the ban.
Pino said no trustees appear to be passionately for or against a ban, but Andrew and Kolar believe it's not an issue the village should be involved with.
"No one on the board felt very strongly about it, it was just a safeguard measure," Pino said of the proposed ordinance. "It was a businesslike approach to get something in line so we could study it at a future date."
Specifically, the ordinance would have banned firearms holding more than 17 rounds at a time, Pino said.
Two gun owners from North Barrington and one from Lake Barrington attended the meeting to protest the ordinance.
Though not claiming to represent the National Rifle Association, the three local citizens argued that the NRA would file suit against the village if it passed the ordinance, resulting in thousands of dollars in legal costs.
Pino said he entered the meeting with an open mind, but his own vote in favor of the ordinance was partly based on his irritation at the suggestion the village should have to avoid retaliation for exercising its legal rights.
"I'm a hunter," Pino said. "I have guns. I'm not against guns. I am against assault weapons."
He added that no legitimate hunter or sportsman would ever need a weapon that fires 30 rounds with one press of the trigger.
Pino said the gun owners also argued that nearly every gun can potentially be classified as an assault weapon under broadly defined language.
Pino said Wednesday's meeting was North Barrington's only chance to vote on the issue before the deadline, and the matter is now considered closed.