Crete determining how to restrict firearms on village property

2013-07-27T22:45:00Z 2013-07-27T22:56:05Z Crete determining how to restrict firearms on village propertyGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent
July 27, 2013 10:45 pm  • 

CRETE | Village officials accept the idea that local residents will be able to obtain special permits to carry firearms for self-protection.

But they’re trying to figure out how that will impact people in government buildings and on other municipal property, along with those individuals who work for Crete municipal government.

Village President Michael Einhorn said last month he wants the Village Board to approve an ordinance imposing restrictions for government property. Trustees discussed the issue when the Village Board met last week, and Village Administrator Thomas Durkin said work on the issue will continue through August.

Any ordinance approved by the Village Board would not try to ban assault weapons within Crete boundaries. The deadline for local governments to adopt restrictions tougher than state law was July 19.

But officials want to make it clear that even if someone is able to get an Illinois permit to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense, there will be restrictions on bringing that weapon to a place like the Village Hall.

“We can impose restrictions on bringing weapons to government offices or other municipal property,” Durkin said. “We wouldn’t want people bringing weapons in municipal-owned vehicles.”

Durkin said the work being done now is to create “an infrastructure” for any new village ordinance, although he said specifics are still being worked through.

Restrictions would not extend beyond the government property issue, Durkin said, as village officials decided early on they were not interested in imposing their own ban on assault weapons. That was done by Chicago, Cook County and about a dozen Chicago-area municipalities, including Dolton, Hazel Crest and Homewood.

“We did not act on that issue,” Durkin said of the Village Board. “We decided that the state’s law on concealed carry was adequate with its restrictions.”

Those restrictions include requiring businesses such as restaurants that derive at least half of their income from liquor sales to post signs telling people firearms are not permitted.

Village Attorney James Stevenson has said work on an ordinance began even before it was known what Gov. Pat Quinn would do with the bill that allowed concealed carry to exist in Illinois.

Quinn tried to use his amendatory veto powers to impose tougher firearms restrictions than the Legislature approved, but the General Assembly overrode the governor’s desires.

Durkin said Crete has no desire to redo what the Legislature has done.

“It was clear, cut and dried, what the state law says, and we’re going to comply,” he said.

Durkin said action could come next month.

However, he doubts an ordinance would be ready for final approval when the Village Board meets Aug. 12. The next meeting after that is scheduled for Aug. 26.

“It might be the later August meeting,” Durkin said.

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