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Sugar Grove board backs destruction of guns

Published: Friday, July 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

SUGAR GROVE – The Sugar Grove Village Board indicated this week that it doesn’t want to be in the business of selling guns.

“I think that’s a bad path to walk down,” Sugar Grove Trustee Rick Montalto said. “The cons far outweigh the revenue.”

Police Chief Pat Rollins on Tuesday sought guidance about what his department should do with the approximately 20 firearms in its property storage area.

He doesn’t know the history of the guns – he noted he began working for Sugar Grove this month – but said firearms typically come into police departments’ possession by court orders, in cases of suicide and when civilians no longer want them.

Some of the firearms have been in the village’s custody since the early 1990s, Rollins said.

He explained police usually wait to dispose of guns until they have enough to make it worthwhile.

Despite having several arguments against selling the firearms, he presented that option to the Village Board so trustees knew it could be a source of some revenue.

In a written report to the board, he said the firearms could generate up to $6,000, depending on their value, noting a few are operational and others have working parts.

President Sean Michels said it was the first time the board considered this topic since he has been in office.

He said it was an appropriate time to discuss the topic because the police department’s evidence room recently was cleaned and reorganized, and St. Charles recently acted on a similar request from its police chief.

“It was time,” Michels said, noting trustees supported destroying the firearms.

Montalto, a retired police officer, said the village needs to consider the feelings of those who turned in the guns and wanted them destroyed.

He asked how those people would feel about the village making money off the weapons.

“There are plenty of legal guns out there to buy,” Montalto said. “I do not support [the village] selling them.”

Rollins said the firearms will be destroyed in the near future, likely by melting them at a foundry.

Unlike Sugar Grove, the St. Charles City Council voted last month to sell nearly 20 firearms to licensed dealers.

The majority of the weapons were acquired by such means as court orders, and four were weapons police no longer had use for.

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