Gun-Sale Regulations Discussed by Village Board
Clarendon Hills staff recommends that the village's zoning ordinance be amended so that firearm and ammunition sales can be limited to certain parts of the village and conditions for operation can be set.
Updated at 8:50 p.m.
Clarendon Hills trustees opened discussion Monday night on amending the village’s zoning rules in order to regulate gun and ammo sales after one local commercial property owner recently expressed interest in selling such products.
The village’s zoning ordinance currently does not address the sale of firearms and ammunition, and village staff recommends that a special use be required to sell the items and that the permits only be given out to businesses in certain parts of town.
“It’s a use that our ordinance doesn’t address straightforward,” community development director Dan Ungerleider said to trustees Monday night. “I think we should be more direct in what we want and where we want it.”
Village manager Randy Recklaus said the sale of guns cannot be outright prohibited by a village.
Ungerleider did not reveal the identity of the property owner who wants to sell guns and ammo because he says it’s a wider issue that should be addressed with or without that particular case.
Clarendon Hills Police Chief Ted Jenkins did say that the property owner has applied for, but has not yet received, a federal license to sell firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has told village staff that it won’t be granting that permit until the village has regulations in place.
Village President Tom Karaba said he thinks the village’s gun-sales regulations should be as strict as possible.
“If I could, I would ban the sale of handguns and all guns in Clarendon Hills,” Karaba said.
“We know that we can’t completely prohibit it but, personally, that’s what I would do.”
Ungerleider said that with an amendment to the zoning ordinance, sales could be kept out of the downtown area and restricted to industrial or office spaces. The village needs to decide, he said, where it wouldn’t want guns to be sold and then see which areas are left.
“We would also look at conditions for operation, [which] is something that I would have to coordinate with the police department,” Ungerleider said.
The board requested more information about the regulations of other towns in the area, and what might be best for Clarendon Hills.
Ungerleider said he’d return at a future meeting with more information.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are also businesses that currently are not regulated in Clarendon Hills' zoning ordinance that should be, Ungerleider said, as there is currently a bill being batted around in Springfield that would legalize them.
The desire of a Clarendon Hills property owner to sell guns and ammo within the village will be a topic of discussion at Monday night's Clarendon Hills Village Board meeting.
In a memo to village trustees included in Monday's agenda packet, Clarendon Hills community development director Dan Ungerleider said village staff were recently contacted by a commercial property owner in the village who wants to begin selling firearms and ammunition.
A representative from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) then followed up with village staff, Ungerleider said, to see if sales of such items were allowed in the particular location.
"The Village Zoning Ordinance does not list firearms and ammunition sales as a permitted or special use in any zoning district, nor does the municipal code provide for the sale of firearms and ammunition within the Village," Ungerleider's memo reads. "When discussed with the Village Attorney, he recommended the Village amend its ordinance to better define and directly address this type of use, where it could be located and the conditions addressing proximity to other uses and its operational practices."
The property owner has been advised that they will have to petition the village for an amendment to the village's zoning ordinance to be able to sell firearms and ammunition.
"It is staff's recommendation that this type of use be only considered as a special use within specified zoning districts and predetermined conditions addressing proximity to other uses and its operational practices," Ungerleider's memo reads.
Another zoning ordinance discussion Monday night will regard medical marijuana dispensaries.
The Illinois General Assembly is considering legislation allowing qualifying patients to be subscribed cannabis from an authorized distribution facility, another Ungerleider memo reads, and if passed, the village would need to have regulations in place for medical marijuana dispenaries.
"As you might guess, the Village Zoning Ordinance does not list Cannabis Dispensaries as permitted or special uses in any zoning district, nor does the municipal code provide for the sale of medical-use cannabis dispensaries within the Village," Ungerleider's memo reads. "When discussed with the Village Attorney, he recommended the Village amend its ordinance to better define and directly address this type of use, where it could be located and the conditions addressing proximity to other uses and its operational practices."
Monday's meeting at Village Hall begins at 7 p.m. See the full agenda packet here on the village's website.