Richmond to discuss assault weapons

Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 8:34 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 11:39 p.m. CDT

RICHMOND – Richmond village officials don’t want to cobble together an assault weapons ban and rush it through, but that’s what they have to do, the village president said.

The Richmond Village Board has a “shell ordinance” on the agenda for its meeting Wednesday evening, Village President Pete Koenig said.

“It’s a very basic template ordinance,” he said. “We haven’t had any discussion yet about what the ordinance should really contain. We have a boiler plate thing that we’re going to put on the table.”
The village – like other local governments across Illinois – is under a time crunch from a proposed concealed-carry bill.

The bill as passed by the General Assembly gives municipalities 10 days from the time the legislation takes effect to pass bans on semi-automatic assault-style weapons.

In an amendatory veto, Gov. Pat Quinn removed that restriction for home rule communities, according to the ZRFM law firm in Crystal Lake, but some legislators have vowed to override the veto and Quinn’s changes.

Both an override and accepting the changes require the Legislature’s approval, an override takes a three-fifths majority and approval a simple majority.

Richmond wants to be prepared in case the override happens, Koenig said.

The state has until Tuesday to pass a concealed-carry law to replace the ban a federal judge threw out.

“Once we put something on the books, we have the latitude to amend it later,” Koenig said. “If we don’t put something on the books, we have no option to do something later.”

Koenig expects debate at Wednesday’s meeting, and while he’s not sure where he stands, he knows there are trustees on both sides of the issue.

“I’m personally not a gun person,” he said. “I don’t hunt. I don’t own a gun. But I don’t necessarily have a problem with people who do these things. I’m more worried about Columbine, Sandy Hook, all of these things that involve these outrageously dangerous weapons. If we have the ability to put controls on those, perhaps we should do it.”

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