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Rep. Drury: Assault Weapons a Community Issue, Not a Second Amendment Issue

Rep. Scott Drury has been working to inform residents and public figures about what the state's concealed carry legislation means for their ability to regulate assault weapons.

It's been a tumultuous few weeks for city councils and village boards throughout the North Shore, as assault weapon regulations have taken center stage at meetings.

See How North Shore Towns Are Voting on Assault Weapons

Residents, gun rights opponents and NRA members have been filling city halls throughout the Chicago suburbs to argue for and against putting assault weapons regulations on the books.

Earlier: Highland Park Votes to Ban Assault Weapons

The debate is the result of  the concealed carry legislation recently passed by the Illinois Legislature. Home rule communities such as Highland Park have to put a ban or other legislation in place within 10 days of Gov. Pat Quinn signing the bill, which has a July 9 deadline. 

Read more: Illinois Concealed-Carry Bill Amended by Gov. Quinn

The chain of events began in December when the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Illinois' ban on concealed carry weapons violates the Second Amendment, and set a June 9 deadline for the state legislature to craft its own legislation to get in compliance. 

Perhaps one of the busiest people since the concealed carry ban was revisited is 58th District Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highland Park), who has been meeting with public figures within the district and making presentations at public meetings to inform residents what the legislation means.

"These towns are all taking the law seriously," Drury told Patch in an interview last week. "We're not seeing any uniform way in handling it."

Highland Park, for example, passed an outright ban on assault weapons, whereas Deerfield passed an ordinance requiring assault weapons to be registered and safely stored. Lake Forest, on the other hand, recently tabled a discussion about putting a placeholder ordinance on the books so that the city does not lose the right to amend its assault weapons regulations once the concealed carry legislation is signed into law.

"I have made clear to everybody that this issue isn't a Second Amendment issue, it's a home rule local community issue," Drury said. "The state is trying to take away the community's ability to regulate itself."

By now, most home rule community residents know that the concealed carry legislation means that these communities need to get something on the books regarding assault weapons before the legislation is signed into law, or they lose that right forever. However, one of the more nuanced aspects of the concealed carry legislation is that, assuming a community gets an assault weapon ordinance in the books, that community can amend that ordinance to make it less or more restrictive anytime after. 

"If you don't have anything you lose the right to ever do anything," Drury said.

It's this point that Drury has been trying to hammer home in his talks with residents and public figures.

"There are major consequences to a town not taking any action," Drury said. "If you don't enact a regulation you will lose that right."

Opponents to assault weapons regulations, like Highland Park City Councilman David Naftzger and Lake Forest Alderman Michael Adelman, argue that restrictions may lead to lawsuits against the communities that could be costly.

"It's not too hard to envision a city as prominent as Lake Forest… that we are not going to end up spending tens of thousands of dollars in litigating this ordinance," Adelman said at last week's City Council meeting.

Drury, however, points out that the ordinances can always be adjusted -- so long as there is an ordinance on the books before the 10 days after the concealed carry legislation is signed into law.

"This really is a home rule local control issue that the state is trying to usurp in asking these towns to give up a big part of their regulatory ability without knowing what they're giving up," he said. "That to me is a scary proposition."

Thomas Chamberlin July 08, 2013 at 02:19 PM
The concept that "Home" rule trumps Constitutional rights and freedoms is false and absurd. This is just a lame diversionary tatic from Scott Drury to further sell his totalitarian agenda.
The Q July 08, 2013 at 07:46 PM
So I want to make sure I understand....so this not about "the Children" or "evil Assault Weapons" this is about Towns losing home rule authority.....so its about CONTROL, so HP is taking my Rights so they can control me. Got to love that logic. That's oxy-moron right there. Passing laws so you don't lose control is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life and if you believe that I have a few bridges to sell you folks.
The Q July 08, 2013 at 07:47 PM
this is about a Gun grab and nothing else....
MS July 09, 2013 at 10:55 AM
This is VERY scary. If Drury thinks the community supersedes the Constitution in this case, who knew where else he thinks it does too. He and Morrison need to go next election.
HP Resident July 09, 2013 at 01:41 PM
You have lost my vote!!!!!
Dan Cox July 11, 2013 at 05:19 PM
In my opinion, Rep. Scott Drury and Senator Julie Morrison are the 'Bureaucrats" that Thomas Jefferson, warned us about. To claim that this bogus "Assault Weapons Ban" is not about the Second Amendment, is like saying that Coal is not Black. Nevermind that fact that Homerule Leaders were mis-informed about the challenge to the Cook County AWB...it was not defeated, it is still in Court. Mis-information and non-sense is what this whole AWB Ordinance idea is all about. 1. Pre-emption makes all Homerule Community Gun Laws null and void, including Chicago's Handgun Registration Program. 2.The UnConstitutional Assault Weapons Ban Ordinance program that Gov. Quiin has had his sidekicks pushing are a bad joke. Pre-emption makes them null and void for all non-residents. Every gun and ammo magazine not allowed to be possessed by residents, can and will be legally transported into and through Highland Park and Skokie, etc. What is the use of an Ordinance, that only dis-arms the residents of that Homerule Community? Yet allows anybody who is not a resident to bring in several AR-15 Rifles and a hundred 30 Round Magazines... Hmmm Now, that is our Rep. Scott Drury, Senator Julie Morrison , Governor Quinn and City Council Members...keeping us safe, Right?

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