ar-15-wikimedia

Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to take a final vote on adopting an ordinance that would ban possession of assault weapons in the city.

The proposed ordinance is modeled on a ban already in place in Chicago.

The aldermen are under pressure to act quickly on the measure because a law adopted by the state legislature would lift the power of home rule communities to ban such weapons 10 days after it goes into effect.

That law has been vetoed by Gov. Pat Quinn, but it was passed by such a wide margin that its supporters believe the legislature will override the govenor’s veto this week.

So far only a few other communities in the state have acted to pass assault weapons bans in response to the legislature’s action.

They include Highland Park, North Chicago, Melrose Park, and Skokie.

Eight other communities near Chicago, including Niles, already had assault weapons bans on the books before the state legislature’s move. Cook County also has such a ban.

Although the proposed Evanston ban is modeled on Chicago’s existing ordinance, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced plans to update and strengthen its ordinance.

Evanston Corporation Counsel Grant Farrar told Evanston Now he wasn’t in a position to comment on the differences between the old and new Chicago ordinances.

The legislature attached the assault weapons measure to a bill that also responds to federal court demands that the state adopt legislation that would allow residents to carry concealed weapons.

Opponents of the ban say assault weapons are rarely used in crimes, but supporters argue they have been the weapon of choice in many mass shooting incidents.

Top: An image of a modified AR-15 assault rifle from Wikimedia user Agauthier.

Related stories

Quinn rewrites concealed carry law

Assault weapons ban advances, despite lawsuit threats

Aldermen to vote on assault weapons ban

Evanston plans assault weapons ban

Related document

Council packet including text of the assault weapons ordinance (.pdf)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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