Dozens of assault weapons could be banned in River Forest under a measure pending before River Forest village trustees.
In addition to possession of the weapons, magazines, "belt, drum, feed strip or similar device that has a capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition," would be barred as part of the ordinance, which is still being tweaked by village attorneys.
Trustees took testimony from five people – two of them from River Forest - but did not discuss the measure or give any inkling if it would be debated or voted on.
"It's under advisement," Village President Catherine Adduci said.
If it ends up being approved, the ban would be similar to one already on the books in Oak Park and Chicago. Cook County also has a ban. Highland Park approved one on June 24.
The measure under consideration is in response to a provision of a concealed carry bill, approved by the Illinois General Assembly in May, which would prohibit future assault weapons bans unless they are enacted by communities before or 10 days after Gov. Pat Quinn takes up the legislation.
The deadline for Quinn to sign it is July 9, imposed when the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional Illinois' ban on concealed carry.
Banned if the ordinance is approved by trustees would be the Bushmaster, used in the Newtown Connecticut shootings as well as a version of the AR-15 used during the shootings inside an Aurora, Colorado movie theater in 2012.
The measure before River Forest trustees also would ban the firing of assault weapons. Violating the ban on possessing and/or firing an assault weapon is classified a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $750 fine. Weapons also would be confiscated.
Anyone turning in an assault weapon to the police department would not be prosecuted. All weapons confiscated by the court or turned in to the police department would be destroyed, according to the ordinance.
Members of the Illinois Rifle Association, who attended Monday night's meeting, objected to the ordinance, saying it was ill-conceived, unnecessary and likely to be challenged in court.
"One of the guns on the list – the AR-15 - is one that most people have," said Richard Schnedorf, a River Forest resident and long-time NRA member. "Some of these (on the list) are weapons of choice for the police and the military. River Forest doesn't need this. We don't have a gang problem here."
Military personnel, police officers and others working in a crime-fighting capacity, antique firearms owners and licensed firearms collectors would be exempt.
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