|Gun sale ban OK’d for E. Dundee historic area|
By Jameel Naqvi
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Thursday, October 19, 2006
In a rare lapse of party discipline, Trustee Rob Gorman broke with his traditional allies on the East Dundee village board Monday night and voted with the majority to ban gun sales in the historic district.
The measure passed 4-3, with Gorman casting the deciding vote.
With the exception of Gorman, the ordinance split the board along usual lines, with Gorman’s traditional allies Dan O’Leary, Jim Carlini and Frank Scarpelli on one side and Village President Jerry Bartels, Paul VanOstenbridge and Mike Ruffulo on the other.
O’Leary and Scarpelli wanted time to discuss the measure with the only downtown business that now sells guns, M-M Sporting Goods at 215 Barrington Ave. The ordinance would not affect the store because new building-use regulations cannot exclude a business that previously was allowed.
M-M sparked the controversy when it displayed a poster of a six-shooter in the store window. Nearby residents concerned about guns being sold so close to their homes contacted their elected officials. The poster has since been taken down.
Trustees who voted for the ordinance reiterated the fact that it would not affect M-M Sporting Goods.
“This doesn’t concern him,” Ruffulo said.
Board members who favored the new regulation stressed that it was not a gun ban but merely prohibits the sale of guns in the historic district.
“You can open gun shops in East Dundee,” Gorman said. “You just can’t open it in our downtown district.”
Wal-Mart — which is scheduled to leave the village in 2008 — is the only business outside the historic district that sells guns in East Dundee.
Board members said gun shops were not appropriate for the historic district because it overlaps a residential area.
“There’s a place for everything, and that part of town is not the place for it,” Bartels said.
Gorman called his vote “a historic moment on this board.” He expressed surprise that the board was not united on the issue.
“I thought this board had consensus over not having gun stores in the downtown district,” Gorman said.
Officials on both sides of the debate said the impact of the ordinance is not as significant as the concern of some East Dundee residents suggests. The ordinance will not increase or decrease the number of gun stores currently in the village.
“It’s more to appease the people than anything else,” Carlini said.
Thom McNamee, landlord of M-M Sporting Goods, said the measure is an overreaction that forces the views of a small minority onto all the residents.
“It’s nothing but hysteria and hyperbole of residents that need to get a life,” McNamee said.