Six hundred guns in one residence?

Letter to the Editor
Published: 10/24/2007 12:28 AM

Would any of us want a person with more than 600 firearms in his home living next to us? That is the question raised by Michael P. Sonka of Mundelein, who admits to owning such a large number of guns valued at more than $600,000 by the local police.

Sonka was arrested in mid-September not for owning the guns but for allegedly selling them out of his house after he surrendered his federal firearms license due to a zoning violation. Law enforcement officials charged Sonka, according to Mundelein Mayor Kenneth Kessler, because "there was significant non­compliance with federal and state law, and that's why we acted on this and that's what we should be doing."

The mayor went on to say that police claimed Sonka was running a "major gun selling operation."

I cant speak to the guilt or innocence of Mr. Sonka or the charges filed against him. That will be up to a judge and jury to decide.

However, I am concerned that it is legal, as Mr. Sonka correctly asserts, to own 600 guns and keep them in your house, without any recourse afforded to neighbors who might object.

Clearly, no reasonable concerned citizen should argue about the right to hoard 600 guns when weighed against the issue of public safety posed by such firepower sitting in the middle of residential community. Not only are such a large number of firearms a burglar's dream; they pose multiple potential scenarios under which harm could come to local residents.

Whether or not Mr. Sonka is found guilty of the charges, we should be asking ourselves whether there should be a legal right to possess more than 600 firearms in a residential neighborhood, regardless of whether they are for sale or part of a personal collection.

It doesn't pass the common sense test or the public safety one either

Thomas Mannard

Executive Director

Illinois Council Against

Handgun Violence