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Former DuPage County Board member calls for gun hearings

Dirk Engler

Dirk Engler

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Updated: February 24, 2013 6:23AM

Former DuPage County Board member Dirk Enger has reiterated a request for the board to take an active role in collecting input from residents about gun control.

Appearing before the full board Tuesday for a second time since his re-election bid fell short in November, the Winfield Democrat asked that the members consider hosting public forums to gauge, from residents on both sides of the controversial issue, public sentiment about efforts to curtail the sale of certain firearms.

Enger’s initial comments to the board and its public safety committee earlier this month centered on the ideas of collecting fees from gun owners, and posting a map online showing where gun owners live and the type of weapons they own.

Enger pointed to an Internet site in New York state that was created by a local newspaper to publicize the names and addresses of people who have gun permits, in the aftermath of the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14. That paper, the Journal News, has since taken down the information, citing new state legislation enabling permit holders to have their personal information withheld on request.

During this week’s comments to the DuPage board, Enger said the expense of hosting the public hearings in the county office building would be negligible, compared with budget meetings the county conducts that typically draw only a handful of people, with employees helping out at overtime pay.

“This wouldn’t cost you that much,” Enger said.

Although the board is unlikely to take direct action related to gun ownership, it has paid lobbyists in Springfield and Washington who can be asked to convey the residents’ wishes to state and federal lawmakers.

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