Deborah Frank Feinen, the mayor of Champaign, Illinois, issued a coronavirus-related emergency declaration Friday that could allow her office to ban the sale of guns, ammunition, and alcohol for a limited time.
The emergency declaration reportedly gives Feinen's office "extraordinary powers" and was made despite there being no confirmed coronavirus cases in central Illinois as of Thursday evening, according to a report by WAND-TV.
The news outlet noted that the city's municipal code grants the mayor authority to declare an emergency for a limited time and goes on to list several of the powers allotted to the mayor in such an instance:
- Ban sale of firearms and ammunition;
- Ban sale of any alcohol;
- Closing of all bars, taverns, liquor stores, etc;
- Ban sale or giving away of gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank permanently fixed to a motor vehicle;
- Direct the shutoff of power, water, gas, etc;
- Take possession of private property and obtain full title to same ;and
- Prohibit or restrict ingress and egress to and from the City.
According to the City of Champaign's communications manager, Jeff Hamilton, "the executive order allows the city to be flexible to properly respond to the emergency needs of our community."
He added that "none of the options will necessarily will be implemented but are available in order to protect the welfare and safety of our community if needed."
At an emergency meeting on Friday morning, the city council unanimously approved that the ordinance, effectively placing the city under a local emergency. The ordinance will reportedly be in place for 28 days.
"Making sure that we are prepared and ready for any eventuality. I hope all of this is for naught and that none of the emergency measures we've put into place are necessary," Feinen said after the ordinance was passed.