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Joliet imposes moratorium on gun dealer licenses

The Joliet City Council recently placed a hold on the issuance of gun dealer licenses within city limits.

The measure, as approved, implements a six-month stoppage for issuing licenses of this type.

Issues for the placement of gun shops were incited among residents after Casper Shooting, Inc. opened earlier this year. The business currently operates in the 300 block of Ruby Street, which is zoned as a B-3 general business district.

Joliet does not have rules on the books limiting or restricting the use of gun shops in certain parts of its zoning code. Gun shops are allowable uses in B-3 general business districts, as history shows.

Discussion on the matter previously occurred at a Joliet Land Use & Legislative Committee meeting held earlier this month, at which point some residents took time to voice their opinions.

Candace Johnson, co-president of the St. John’s Neighborhood Organization, said at the time that opening the gun shop on Ruby Street came with no notification or chance to raise objections or questions. She told officials at the committee meeting that many residents had already to come to terms with having the business operate in their neighborhood. Johnson wants to see some rules put in place to better regulate gun shops moving forward.

Matters concerning the placement of gun shops and similar type operations have become an issue not only in Joliet, but also in other communities.

Members of the Joliet Land Use and Legislative Committee and city staff at the meeting want to seek additional information before allowing any more gun shops or similar type businesses to operate in town.

The number of existing gun dealer licenses issued this point in Joliet to is not clear, to date.

City council action, as taken, is hoped to lessen concerns for the placement of gun shops and similar type businesses moving forward.