ST. CHARLES – St. Charles aldermen received applause Monday when they expressed no desire to regulate the ownership of assault weapons.
The topic arose during Police Chief Jim Lamkin’s presentation to the Government Services Committee about the state’s pending concealed-carry legislation. Regulations on assault weapons that are inconsistent with the bill shall be invalid unless the regulations are enacted on, before or within 10 days after the bill’s effective date, he said.
In other words, the city’s opportunity to act in that area is gone forever 10 days after the bill becomes law, city attorney John McGuirk said.
“It’s any kind of regulations,” he said.
None of the aldermen expressed interest to draft such regulations.
“I would not vote for any ban on assault weapons,” 1st Ward alderman Ron Silkaitis said.
Committee chair and 4th Ward alderman Jim Martin said he’s a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
“I object to anybody who tries to water it down in any way,” he said.
The presentation, which was for information only, attracted a standing-room-only crowd. Many audience members spoke during public comment with several identifying themselves as veterans and sportsmen’s club members.
“Most of the bad things don’t happen with assault rifles,” St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club member Alan Davis said. “I would suggest and support you guys not trying to impose a ban on something that’s not a problem in our community or communities around us.”
Resident John DePauw, who has a firearm owner’s identification card, urged city officials and residents to contact state legislatures to ensure the concealed carry bill is done correctly.
“Let’s get the bill passed, but let’s do it right,” he said.
Gov. Pat Quinn has until July 9 to do something with the concealed-carry legislation. If approved, it would trump the current City Code, which prohibits concealed-carry of a pistol, revolver or other firearm.