Retail gun and ammunition shops will be allowed in certain parts of Grayslake if an amendment to the village's zoning ordinance passes at the next board meeting.
The village's committee of the whole agreed on the amendment's provisions, which would allow retail firearm and/or ammunitions sales in the general business and shopping center business zones as well as light industrial areas.
A special-use permit would be required. The committee also agreed not to allow such sales in the central business area, which includes downtown along Center Street.
No sales could occur within 500 feet of public or private schools, parks, libraries, house of worship and liquor license holders. In addition, retail sales could not be done in a home business.
Zoning officer Kirk Smith that the village receives several requests annually regarding opening a guns and ammunitions shop. His response has been, "The zoning ordinance doesn't address that issue."
Smith said having a gun amendment in place makes sense given the "legal cases over the course of several years in Illinois regarding these types of uses."
"We don't have any regulations right now," said Mayor Rhett Taylor. "After the conceal carry law was passed, we knew that was an area where we had a gap."
That conceal carry law was adopted by the state July 9, 2013. Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed the bill, but the General Assembly overrode his vote, making Illinois the last state in the nation to permit some form of possession of guns in public.
Grayslake's proposed gun sales amendment "is not tied to the conceal carry law. It's an expansion, not a constriction," Taylor said.
Smith agreed. "The amendment has nothing to do with the conceal carry law," he said.
Taylor understands gun laws can be controversial.
But, he said, "regardless of one's position, the village does not have the authority to ban sales of legal materials."
He also said the amendment would not affect the gun shows held occasionally at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake. The Lake County Fair Association has a separate agreement on holding such shows, he said.
All trustees except Bruce Bassett attended the committee-of-the-whole meeting. They voted unanimously to bring the gun and ammunitions sale amendment to a vote at the next board meeting.