While other communities in the Chicago area have debated and adopted or rejected bans on assault weapons in their towns, a similar measure will not come up for consideration in River Forest.
The issue was not on the agenda for Monday night’s special meeting, and a notice to that effect was scotch-taped to the front door of village hall. Officials said they do not plan to conduct a special meeting before Friday’s legislature-set deadline to discuss and vote on it.
“We will not take it up at this time,” Village President Catherine Adduci said Monday. The ban was on last month’s agenda, generating comments from several members of the Illinois Rifle Association, two of whom were River Forest residents. Trustees had material from their attorneys in preparation of some kind of discussion on which weapons would have been prohibited to own or fire. On the lengthy list was the Bushmaster, used in the Newtown, Conn. shootings as well as a version of the AR-15 used during the shootings inside an Aurora, Colo. movie theater in 2012.
Trustees also could have considered a ban on firing the weapon in town, limits on the capacity of a magazine clip, and who would be exempt from the law. Violating the ban on possessing and/or firing an assault weapon would be classified a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $750 fine. Weapons also would be confiscated, according to the proposal.
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.
The matter was “under advisement,” Adduci said after that meeting.
To call a special session to consider the matter at this point, the village would have to notify the press and the public 48 hours beforehand and prominently post that notice at village hall, according to the Illinois Open Meetings Act.
The ban on assault-style weapons is part of a controversial concealed-carry law, giving communities 10 days in which to adopt the prohibition.
Both houses in Springfield adopted concealed-carry, over which Gov. Pat Quinn proposed several changes. The state House and Senate then overrode the governor’s amendatory veto. Upholding the governor’s changes were Oak Park and River Forest senators Don Harmon and Kimberly Lightford and representatives Camille Lilly, LaShawn Ford and Chris Welch. Communities had 10 days to adopt a ban on assault weapons.
Adoption of a concealed-carry law was compelled by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which declared late last year that the state’s ban on carrying concealed weapons was unconstitutional. The General Assembly’s action in early July made Illinois the last state in the union to allow people to carry concealed weapons.