In a state where more and more downstate cities, counties and sheriffs are vowing to make their domains "gun sanctuaries," we received two troubling reports from East Central, Illinois. Each claimed that at least one police officer in Paxton, and possibly another in Gibson City, boasted they would make a felony arrest for anyone carrying a TASER or stun gun, even after the Illinois Supreme Court struck down Illinois' ban on carrying stun guns as unconstitional.
The first report was a third-handed report. The second one, made by a GSL member, was more specific, but the member refused to give the officer's name. He said the Paxton cop was "a good guy" and that he didn't want to get this boastful cop in trouble.
At Guns Save Life, we defend your right to defend yourself. After receiving these reports, we made contact with the police chiefs of the two respective cities. Both chiefs promptly returned our message.
Chief Adam Rosendahl from Gibson City assured me that both he and his officers are well aware of the new change in the law on TASERS and stun guns. He gave a nod to Ford County State's Attorney Tony Lee for keeping everyone up to speed on changes in the law. At worst, the GCPD chief said that an officer might generate a report about an individual with a stun gun/TASER, but no enforcement action would occur. After all, at the present time, no law prohibits carrying these electronic self-defense tools.
Chief Coy Cornett of Paxton indicated via email that his department is fully aware of the change in the law. He indicated that he didn't believe any of his officers have discussed the matter with others outside the department.
Clearly though, if I've received two reports of exactly that happening, someone is talking.
In either event, after my query, I'm pretty sure Chief Cornett will ensure his team does not take any action when encountering someone with a stun gun.
Also, someone sent me this:
While the message posted could have been crafted more clearly, I think it's spot on. The Illinois General Assembly could pass new legislation restricting these devices to some degree at some point in the future. We'll keep an eye out for just that.
In the meantime, anyone can carry these devices now for lawful purposes. The biggest risk they would face, however, is running into a law enforcement officer unaware of the recent Illinois Supreme Court case. However, Paxton PD and Gibson City PD both seem like professionally run departments that have squared away chiefs.
So carry on, as they say.