We all know nice cops. We know good cops. Many of us have even met nice cops who are also good cops. Some of us know a lot of them.
But make no mistake, in this era of bodycams, if a police officer of any jurisdiction is told to make arrests for PICA gun and magazine ban offenses by FOID holders, the vast majority will make those arrests. Most aren’t going to risk a suspension or potential termination for failing to make arrests of otherwise good people under orders of their superiors. This goes double for state cops who ultimately report to JB Pritzker. And big city cops like in Chicago. Or Aurora under Richard Erwin (who claimed he was pro-gun last election cycle… what a joke.)
Yeah, you can be polite and they’ll be as lenient as possible, but a lenient felony is still a felony.
“I’ll be as lenient as possible” is just verbal judo, ladies and gentlemen. It makes you feel good while you lose your right to keep and bear arms to defend yourself and your family from gang bangers and other criminals who don’t give a damn about the law.
Sure, you don’t have to worry about small town cops for the most part. Especially in those jurisdictions where local prosecutors have essentially (or overtly) said that they have no intention of prosecuting these sorts of cases absent aggravating circumstances.
You never know though.
But frankly, you shouldn’t have to rely on officer discretion and goodwill (along with prosecutorial discretion) to keep you away from a felony. That’s not how the rule of law is supposed to work.
Sure, oath-breaking cops will chalk it up to “keeping everyone safe” – as though FOID holders are using their ARs to shoot up public locations. Nor is it our state’s law-abiding FOID holders who run around with Glocks with full-auto switches installed. They don’t sell use their guns to sell drugs, do sex trafficking or to rob people. They’re not killing people or carjacking them.
Boys and girls in law enforcement, if you want to “keep everyone safe” then how about going after gang bangers and their full-auto Glock switches? How about hunting down those registered sex predators who have absconded from their reporting requirements? How about hunting down felons with additional felony warrants outstanding and bringing them into jail? Why don’t you folks go after criminal gangs? Or Internet child sex predators or human traffickers? How about pursuing – and apprehending – carjackers and armed robbers? And murderers and attempted murderers?
Heaven knows there’s plenty of work up in Murder City USA to keep you busy.
No, it’s human nature to take the easy path. It’s easier and safer to go after the professional career guy who will lose his job and ability to provide for his family if he gets a felony. Or the single mother who has her guns to keep her peace of mind intact in a sketchy neighborhood. How about the young woman who was sexually assaulted during her college career? Or the retired Marine now in his 80s. None of them are going to shoot at cops or investigators.
Guaranteed that if and when any cops start making PICA-related arrests of FOID holders, “just following orders” isn’t going to pass muster with most of the rest of us in short order.
“Just follow the law and you’ll have nothing to worry about”
And for those who say “gun owners should follow the law,” we say that legislators should stop violating their oath to the Constitution. Ditto for individual police officers. The Constitution says it plain as day, “Shall not be infringed.” The Bruen decision clarifies it for today’s world. The Second Amendment is no longer a second class right subject to interest-balancing tests. And if “shall not be infringed” is too difficult for your elected officials or law enforcement officers to understand, then perhaps they should read the Bruen decision from the Summer of 2022.
Or maybe they should find a new line of work.
On one hand, the good news is that our lawsuits will ultimately prevail. On the other hand, the sad news is that goodwill towards police (and politicians) is declining. Actually, for many politicians the goodwill is already gone among many of us.
Hopefully we’ll solve this area of conflict in the courts before the “bucket of goodwill” that most people have for police is replaced with a bucket of animus.