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Homewood, Hazel Crest eye ban on assault guns

Updated: August 10, 2013 6:38AM



As state lawmakers decide Tuesday whether to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of the concealed-carry law, two Southland towns are set to vote Tuesday night on ordinances that would prohibit assault weapons within their borders.

The village boards in Homewood and Hazel Crest are expected to ban the weapons under a provision in the state’s new concealed-carry law that allows towns to ban the powerful guns within 10 days of the law going into effect.

A federal appeals court ruled in December that Illinois’ ban on carrying concealed handguns in public was unconstitutional and gave the Legislature until Tuesday to adopt a law allowing it. In May, the House and Senate passed by large margins a concealed-carry law, but Quinn last week issued an amendatory veto, making several changes to the law. Among those changes were limiting to one the number of guns a person can carry and prohibiting concealed weapons in restaurants that serve alcohol.

The Legislature is expected to override the veto Tuesday.

Under the proposed Homewood ordinance, anyone in the village with an assault rifle has 90 days to remove it from the village limits, alter the weapon to make it permanently inoperable or turn it over to police for disposal. Anyone who violates the ordinance faces a fine of from $100 to $750.

“Hopefully, people are like-minded and understand assault weapons are meant for killing people and they don’t have a place in our town,” Mayor Richard Hofeld said.

Hazel Crest village manager James Whigham said the village’s assault weapons ban has the same options for owners of assault rifles but carries a penalty for violating the ordinance of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

“We don’t want to be known as the community that says, ‘if you can’t carry an assault weapon anywhere else, come to Hazel Crest,’” Whigham said.

Hazel Crest’s village board meets at 7 p.m. at the village hall, 3000 W. 170th Place. Homewood trustees meet at 7:30 p.m. at the village hall, 2020 Chestnut Road.



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