Image courtesy Springfield Armory.

I regularly advise people to avoid Chicago when possible.  It’s simply not safe there.  The local political leaders protect the criminals while disparaging the law-abiding victims of crime.  And just the law-abiding in general.  Want an example?  I’m so glad you asked me that.  

During the August Pontiac GSL meeting, I declined a couple of calls, but soon came a panicked text message. Someone had a trial on a city ordinance gun arrest.  At 1pm the next day. “Can you help?”

A young guy named Sergio called me again a little after 9pm. “Why are you just calling me now?” I asked.

He explained that he posted on Reddit about his bad experience catching an arrest from Chicago PD over a cased AR-style pistol he had in the back seat of his car.  The City of Chicago municipal attorneys offered Sergio a deal to take 90 days in jail, a couple thousand dollar fine, forfeiture of the gun and community service hours if he would like to plead guilty.  He told them to pound sand, but as his trial date approached, he grew increasingly worried.  And that’s why he posted his story on Reddit hoping for ideas.

By the way, Sergio has an Illinois carry license.

Anyway, two or three Reddit readers recommended that, given the circumstances, he contact Guns Save Life for help, and John Boch in particular if possible. Hence the calls and texts.

So we talked and I invited his attorney to contact me, which he did at 9:40 at night. The attorney was aware of the Section 90 exemption from local regulations on handguns and handgun magazines within the Illinois concealed carry act.  The attorney had lots of questions about the Deerfield lawsuit and I cleared up some misconceptions about that case and the IL Supreme Court’s ruling.

Earlier, Lori Lightfoot’s legal beagles pursued the case even though the gun had “PISTOL” engraved on the receiver and it was logged as a handgun on the evidence form by the cops. You would think cops would know that Chicago’s (unconstitutional) ordinance against homeland defense rifles doesn’t apply to handguns.

The next day, the young man texted me “NOT GUILTY.” I love it when justice finally prevails.

The moral of the story? You might not want to divulge firearms transported unloaded and encased on a traffic stop. The IL CCW statute requires you to fess up about any loaded handguns you’re carrying under your license but not those transported unloaded and encased under the FOID Act. You can’t lie, but you don’t have to say you have them.

How do you handle that? Easy.

Officer: “Any guns, knives, grenades or rocket launchers in the car, sir?”

You: “I have a CCW and my carry piece is on my hip. There’s nothing illegal in the car, sir.”

“That wasn’t the question I asked you!”

“Ah, but that was the answer you got. Now, am I free to go?”

If the cop presses it, tell him or her that you’re done answering questions.  And keep asking if you’re free to leave.

No matter what, do NOT consent to a search of your vehicle. If the police have probably cause, that’s one thing and they’ll tell you to step out while they search. But don’t give them probable cause or consent to a voluntary search. Otherwise, you might end up locked up facing a BS charge from some bad cops.

Now contrast Sergio’s case with a real bad guy in Chicagoland.

A cab driver abducted a drunk 23-year-old woman in his cab, taking her to a location and sexually assaulting her, leaving his DNA behind.  Even with a slam-dunk case, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office offered a plea bargain for two years’ probation.  PROBATION for kidnapping and rape.  That’s some fine prosecutorial work there, folks.

Meanwhile their peers working for the City of Chicago wanted 90 days for possession of a legal handgun in the city.  From a kid with a carry license.

As reported by CWB Chicago:

A cab driver who was accused of kidnapping a female passenger in Chicago and then sexually assaulting her pleaded guilty this week to one count of criminal sexual abuse causing bodily harm in exchange for a sentence of two years of probation, according to court records.

Prosecutors dropped five Class X felony charges in their deal with Tarek Masri, including multiple counts of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Masri, now 59, was arrested at his Joliet home in 2018 after DNA material generated a hit in the sexual assault, which occurred three years earlier, police said.

Early on June 13, 2015, the then 23-year-old victim went out with friends to celebrate her passing the Certified Public Accountant exam, prosecutors said during Masri’s initial bail hearing. At the end of the night, the victim and other women took Masri’s cab to one of the women’s homes in Ravenswood. However, the victim told friends that she preferred to sleep in her own bed, and she asked Masri to drive her home.

The victim fell asleep in the cab’s back seat, and one of the victim’s friends wrote down Masri’s taxi number as the cab drove away, prosecutors said in 2018.

Prosecutors said Masri drove the victim for three hours around Ravenswood, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview. Then, they alleged, he stopped his taxi in the 2600 block of North Paulina in Lincoln Park and sexually assaulted the woman while she was asleep in the back seat. He later dropped the victim off near her Lakeview apartment building.