By Anna Lothson
The Oak Park Board of Health has made its stance on handgun regulation official.
At its May 22 meeting the board finalized its set of recommendations regarding seven proposals that concluded the village should not pursue specific regulations such as a handgun registry or mandatory handgun training.
The board provided its initial recommendations on seven proposals; they were against five of the seven. The topics consisted of a local handgun registry; mandatory training requirements for handgun owners; mandatory requirements for handgun storage or use of trigger locks; mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns within 72 hours; licensing of gun dealers; limitations on location of gun dealers; and voluntary education campaigns and other initiatives.
The only recommendation garnering a favorable vote was a proposal regarding voluntary education campaigns and other initiatives. The board did not indicate a position on the mandatory reporting of lost or stolen handguns within 72 hours.
Margaret Provost-Fyfe, Oak Park's public health director, said no substantial changes were made to the health board's recommendations since its April meeting. She said the issue should be presented to village board members sometime in June and will be worked through during the next few months depending on the board's stance.
Overall, the health board's perspective on the issue boils down to a lack of evidence indicating that implementing the policies would have an impact on public safety, and the fact that statewide laws prevent efforts such as a local handgun registry, according to the health board reports.