THORNTON | The Village Board last week unanimously approved a licensing ordinance and special use request that pave the way for the ATMA Co. to open a firearms business at 567 N. Williams St.
The board had directed Village Attorney Scott Dillner to draft a different ordinance than the one it was presented with on Sept. 3.
Village Administrator Jason Wicha said the main change is that the ordinance approved allows for the transfer of certain assault weapons that are banned under a Cook County ordinance but are allowable under local ordinance.
He said although Thornton's ordinance is less restrictive than Cook County's, machine guns and certain weapons with high capacity magazines are among those that will still be banned.
Wicha said the business will not be what might be considered a traditional gun shop.
"It is by appointment only and it is generally for firearms transfers rather than purchases," he said. "It is not a location where a member of the general public could show up and go shopping for firearms."
Firearms transfers occur when weapons are bought out-of-state and regulations require the firearm to be transferred to a dealer for the customer to pick up, said Deputy Police Chief Doug Beckman.
Wicha said language was also added to the ordinance to prohibit firearm transfer facilities from existing within a two-mile radius of each other in the village.
Trustee Judy Diekelman sees allowing the firearms business to open as a positive for the village.
"For one thing, it will bring some revenue into town," Diekelman said. "There is some sales tax involved there. And he's going into a building where there's been some vacancies for a while, so that's always good."
In other village news, a free concert sponsored by the Thornton Police Association will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight on Sept. 28 in Hubbard Park.
There will be a beer garden and refreshments will be sold.
The Morgan Street Band will perform rock music from 6 to 8 p.m. and 201 Union will perform classic and modern rock from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Those who attend should bring blankets and chairs, organizers said.