CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — The commissioners of an Indiana county that borders Illinois have decided not to do anything to better regulate vendors at gun shows, after law enforcement officials from the two states said the shows are a potential source of weapons flowing into Chicago.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich asked commissioners to tighten regulations after a guns summit last week in Gary attended by about 80 representatives from a dozen local, state and federal agencies in the two states, The Times of Munster reported (http://bit.ly/Y8SsKE ).
"We need to tighten up the control of these gun shows but not take away anyone's rights," Sheriff John Buncich said.
But Commissioner Mike Repay, D-Hammond, said the county is following the law.
"If you have trouble with that, then the law should be changed. If we are not breaking the law, then we should continue to lease our facilities this way," he said.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart called for the summit last week to discuss strategies to stop the flow of guns after a University of Chicago Crime Lab study says nearly 20 percent of the guns recovered by Chicago police from 2008 to 2012 were purchased in Indiana. The study said it was the second largest source for recovered firearms next to Cook County.
The fairgrounds shows, which have been taking place for more than two decades, were cited as a concern at the summit.
Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-Crown Point, said he was concerned that the county could be sued if it canceled the contracts to hold the gun shows.
"You are renting the building. You can always amend the contract," he said.
Buncich said he's heard reports of people in the parking lot outside the regulated show's boundaries, illegally selling guns without any documentation. Repay replied that anyone could sell a gun in a supermarket parking lot, too, and there is nothing commissioners can do about it.
Information from: The Times, http://www.thetimesonline.com