Cal City wants to consider an assault weapons ban

2013-07-11T21:56:00Z 2013-07-11T23:00:13Z Cal City wants to consider an assault weapons banGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 11, 2013 9:56 pm  • 

CALUMET CITY | Count Calumet City among Illinois municipalities that may respond to a new state law permitting people to carry firearms in public by enacting their own limits, in particular relating to so-called assault weapons.

Third Ward Alderman Thaddeus Jones, who's also an Illinois state representative, said Thursday the City Council will consider such a measure; although it is not yet complete.

Jones said he would want Calumet City ordinances to prohibit weapons with magazines enabling them to fire off dozens of rounds at a time. He also said there likely will be restrictions in the proposed ordinance that would ban firearms in places such as parks, schools and taverns.

“I don’t think anybody really wants people carrying assault weapons in Calumet City,” Jones said.

The city’s reaction comes after the Illinois General Assembly on Tuesday overrode Gov. Pat Quinn’s objections to a concealed carry measure that had been approved in the spring legislative session. Legislators included a provision that gives home rule communities a 10-day period in which they can impose their own measures that would be stricter than the state law.

That time period expires July 23, and south suburban communities such as Homewood and Hazel Crest already have approved such restrictions. Chicago’s City Council has scheduled a special meeting Wednesday to consider an assault weapons ban.

Jones and Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush said the Calumet City council may use that same date for a special meeting, although it had not officially been scheduled as of Thursday night.

Qualkinbush said a special meeting, for which alderman will receive extra pay, will have to be held if Calumet City is to meet the July 23 deadline, because the next regularly scheduled council meeting is July 25.

“We have to do this at a separate meeting,” Qualkinbush said.

Seventh Ward Alderman Antoine Collins said he wants his Ordinance and Resolutions Committee to work with Jones in crafting the ordinance that will be considered. As of Thursday, no hearings of that committee had been scheduled.

Jones said he continues to work with the city’s attorney, Burt Odelson, to set the specific language of such an ordinance. Odelson was not available late Thursday to comment on the issue, but Jones said his priority is to come up with a viable ordinance.

“Our goal is to get this done,” he said.

Qualkinbush said she has no priorities of what needs to be in any firearms-related ordinance, adding she is interested in seeing what the council comes up with on the issue.

The mayor also said that while the concealed carry debate was pending in the General Assembly, she was unaware there would be any option for local governments to adopt local regulations.

“I didn’t know we’d get to express our opinion, but I’m glad we’ll have the chance,” she said.

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