Hainesville drops idea of assault weapons ban

Hainesville village board members have backed away from considering a local law banning residents from owning assault weapons.

With nearly 80 spectators at Tuesday night's village board meeting, the board agreed to remove an agenda item regarding “an ordinance regulating the possession and ownership of assault weapons in the village of Hainesville.”

Mayor Linda Soto made an announcement about the decision toward the top of the session. She said concerns about possible litigation and the Grayslake-Hainesville Police Department's preference to depend on state and federal laws led the elected officials to back away from discussing a village ordinance on assault weapons.

“It is my recommendation that the village not adopt an ordinance banning assault weapons in the village and we should rely on the state and federal statutes,” said Soto, who drew loud applause from the crowd.

Soto still allowed public comment on the matter. Among those to step up was Grayslake resident Hal Berger, who said another gun law wouldn't make anyone safer.

“I feel very strongly about the United States constitution and the assault that's been going on with it lately,” said Berger, a lifetime National Rifle Association member.

Assault weapons have become a popular topic at suburban government meetings. Before a packed house Monday night, the Highland Park city council voted 6-1 in favor of banning assault weapons.

Island Lake village board members have an agenda item listed as “concealed carry discussion” for Thursday night.

In May, the Illinois General Assembly passed a concealed carry bill that was a response to a federal-court decision requiring the adoption of such legislation. The state's attorney general was granted an extension for Gov. Pat Quinn to review and sign the bill by July 9.

Within that bill is a provision permitting home rule municipalities to ban certain assault weapons on or before 10 days after the governor puts his signature on the bill, after which that window would close.

On Monday evening, speakers came from various areas to address the issue of assault weapons before the Highland Park city council agreed to a ban.

“That right to bear arms is to protect and to give you the tools to defend your liberty against a government that becomes tyrannical,” Round Lake resident Dan Cox told Highland Park officials. “You can't do that with single-shot shotguns.”

Cox attended Tuesday night's meeting in Hainesville but didn't speak.

In Hanover Park last week, more than a dozen speakers voiced opposition to an assault weapons ban, contending it would be ineffective and restrict their Second Amendment rights. Mettawa village board members last week voted against a proposal to ban assault weapons.

Buffalo Grove officials had placed assault weapons on a June 17 village board agenda, but at the meeting officials deferred discussion on the matter.

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