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Article updated: 2/10/2014 3:27 PM

Wauconda may further restruct firearms at village hall, other buildings

Wauconda officials are considering adding signs that depict a ban on handguns at village hall and other municipal sites. Such signs already can be found throughout the suburbs, such as this one at the Kane County courthouse.

Wauconda officials are considering adding signs that depict a ban on handguns at village hall and other municipal sites. Such signs already can be found throughout the suburbs, such as this one at the Kane County courthouse.

 

Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

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Wauconda officials are considering taking additional steps to prevent employees and civilians from carrying concealed weapons at village hall and other municipal buildings.

That type of weapons possession already is forbidden under the state law that legalized the concealed possession of firearms.

Under a plan to be debated Tuesday in Wauconda, the ban also would apply to areas around village-owned facilities, such as parking lots, sidewalks and driveways.

Additionally, handguns and other dangerous weapons, such as explosives and knives, wouldn't be allowed in village-owned or -leased vehicles or in privately owned cars that enter village property, according to the proposed policy.

Sworn public-safety officers would be exempt.

The restrictions are being considered in Wauconda to keep staffers safe while at work, officials said.

"On occasion, village (employees) are required to interact with hostile or visibly upset clientele," Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner wrote in a memo to Mayor Frank Bart and the board. "Some members of staff have expressed an interest in restricting the concealed carry of firearms within village hall and facilities."

Employees' desks, lockers and purses would be subject to search for weapons, as would the belongings of any visitors to village buildings.

Workers who violate the policy or who refused searches would face "prompt disciplinary action" that could include termination.

Signs prohibiting the possession of weapons would be posted at the entrances of the buildings. The proposed sign depicts a semiautomatic handgun in a red circle with a red slash through it.

Such images already can be found at the Lake County government center in Waukegan, the main Mundelein fire station, Lake Zurich Unit District 95 campuses, Island Lake village hall, hospitals throughout the area, some suburban private schools and other quasi-public buildings.

Wauconda's proposal was based on a model policy created by the Society for Human Resource Management, Maxeiner said. Other suburban agencies crafted their rules based on this example, too.

Last summer, Illinois became the nation's last state to adopt a law allowing the public possession of concealed weapons. The first licenses could be issued this spring, officials have said.

Wauconda trustees will discuss their local proposal Tuesday during the committee-of-the-whole meeting. That session is set for 7 p.m. at village hall, 101 N. Main St.

Trustee Ken Arnswald said he supports banning concealed weapons from village hall, schools and similar government facilities. But he wasn't sold on the proposal.

"I really have to look at it," he said.

Maxeiner said he can implement the policy without a board vote. If there's disagreement among the trustees Tuesday, he said, the issue could be brought back to the board for more review and a vote.

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