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Lawson v Chicago - Mayhem edition


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#1 Federal Farmer

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:02 PM

Mayhem didnít happen today and Iíll explain why.

Pursuant to Cook County Judge Patrick Rogerís order, I was permitted to bring my four SKS rifles down to the Chicago Administrative Hearings office (400 W Superior Street) to admit them into evidence along with my own expert witness (big thanks goes out to Andre Queen of Fidelity Investigative Training Academy) and, most importantly, my lawyer (Joel Brodsky), who represented me at the Cook County Court appeal.

Around 11am, I picked up my four SKS rifles where I had them stored (Article II Gun World), where they have been safely stored in order to protect Chicago from the threat of mayhem apparently imminent if they are introduced inside Chicago city limits. Lombard, the home of Article II Gun World, was saved from the SKS mayhem by the state-of-the-art kryptonite lining of the rangeís storage facilities, no doubt.

From there, Colleen and I drove the dreaded rifles downtown to pick up our legal team and we all proceeded to the Chicago Administrative Hearing office at 400 W. Superior. No mayhem occurred on the way.

We were met at the front by a capable and affable CPD officer who escorted us into the building and inspected the rifles to ensure they were unloaded and no ammunition was present. More mayhem averted.

The hearing.

Chicago strenuously and repeatedly objected to the presence of the four SKS rifles at the beginning and throughout the hearing, prompting the hearing officer (a suburban lawyer under contract to act as Ďjudgeí for hearings between the City and her residentsóno conflict there!) to lament that they were placing him in the uncomfortable position of ignoring the written order of a Cook County Circuit judge. Chicago tried to argue that the order didnít specifically mention examining the rifles. I guess they felt that Judge Rogers wanted the rifles brought in, but hidden lest they induce mayhem. The hearing officer overruled Chicagoís objections.

Chicago called a CPD Sergeant who had previously been in charge of the Chicago Gun Registration Unit and assisted in drafting the ďResponsible Gun Ownership OrdinanceĒ and who oversaw the unit for the first 3 months of the new ordinance. He testified that the SKS rifles were unregisterable because they can be modified to accept detachable magazines. The Sergeant refused to touch the rifles to demonstrate how they accept said magazines on redirect.

Chicago then called a CPD Officer who works in the same unit and who testified in my previous hearing. He was the officer tasked with researching these particular guns and issuing the denial of registration. Chicago was armed with internet printouts of SKS rifles of the same model as mine being offered for sale. They also presented an internet printout of an online parts seller that shows an exploded view of the SKS and lists parts for sale. They also sell detachable magazines that can be purchased for use in SKS rifles. Finally, the last internet printout showed SKS Drum magazines. Mayhem was a-knockiní!

During cross examination, attorney Joel Brodsky queried the CPD Officer as to whether ďgrandpaís double-barreled shotgunĒ with barrel length over 18 inches is registerable. Answer: Yes. He then asked couldnít someone spend 2 minutes with a hacksaw and cut down the barrel such that the firearm was unregisterable? Answer: Yes. This established that registerable firearms can be modifed to be unregisterable. He also pointed out that the Chicago ordinance contemplates that activity and states that should a registered firearm be modified to a firearm that would be unregisterable, it would then become unregistered.

He then asked if there were currently firearms registered that could become unregisterable. Answer: Yes. This was the lead-up to specific questions regarding my Ruger 10/22, that is currently registered. The officer had to admit that I could replace the stock and modify the 10/22 to become unregisterable.

This officer as well refused to touch the firearms at my lawyerís request for a demonstration. There was quite an amusing circular argument that has to be read to be believed. I hope to have transcripts and/or audio when available.

My lawyer first called our expert witness, Andre Queen. He effectively rebutted the testimony of the CPD officers, demonstrating the function of the rifles, their history, and what is required to convert them to accept detachable magazines. On cross, Chicago asked Mr. Queen if he was being paid to testify. Answer: No. They then asked ďso you are doing this out of the kindness of your heart?Ē Answer: As a matter of fact, yes. Priceless!

On close, Chicago tried to characterize this issue as not being about my specific rifles, or myself, and they were forced to admit that I might not be a terrible person. I was gratified. They then argued that this issue is about the protection of Chicago from the increased threat of mayhem proposed by the lawful registration of SKS rifles. Mayhemís a-go-go now!

Three hours later, the hearing was over, and the hearing officer promised his ruling by Friday (August 5th). After dropping my legal team back at their office, and my wife back at home, I transported the dread SKS rifles back outside Chicago city limits, thankfully before any mayhem could happen.

I have no explanation for how I managed to resist the urge to commit mayhem with my SKS rifles. Perhaps I might be recommended for a Civilian Commendation.

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#2 mstrat

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 11:18 PM

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear the city is continuing its fight against you, and protecting us from your mayhem. :blush:

Seriously though, I hope your lawyer can get the city to foot this bill. And I hope some journalist or concerned citizen can do some FOIA requests and tally up the enormous sums of taxpayer dollars being spent to trample the rights of those very taxpayers.

:) ... I think that needs to go on the city's new budget suggestions website.
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#3 JackTripper

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:18 AM

Not that it should matter, but are the opposing parties familiar with your legal case history?
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#4 jon

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:42 AM

Very nice! Posted Image

#5 abolt243

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:46 AM

David, thanks for your committment to the effort to relieve Chicagoans and all law abiding citizens of IL from the onerous laws we struggle under. I find it fascinating that the officers wouldnít touch the firearms. Are they afraid of them? So unfamiliar with them that they donít know how to safely handle them? And these are professional law enforcement offices tasked with the job of formulating gun laws??
Only in Illinois, well, maybe in California too.

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#6 Mr. Fife

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:50 AM

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#7 pyre400

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:14 AM

Awesome!

Thanks FF, MsFF, and associates, for fighting this battle. Thanks too for providing this update - fantastic!

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#8 Uncle Harley

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:15 AM

would love to hear audo of that if/when it becomes available.
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#9 pyre400

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:16 AM

And these are professional law enforcement offices tasked with the job of formulating gun laws??


They were afraid they might hit the shoulder thingy and cause it to go up...

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#10 Davey

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:23 AM

Are they afraid of them? So unfamiliar with them that they donít know how to safely handle them?



I don't think it was a matter of not knowing how to handle them. I feel confident in being able to handle any firearm safely. Safe direction, finger off the trigger bla bla.

My theory is that they were afraid that they would be asked to demonstrate right then and there how the gun works and how it would be converted to a detachable magazine. They probably weren't confident enough in their own case.

#11 Danielm60660

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:06 AM

You can add yourself to the very short list of people who allowed a CPD officer to inspect their firearms and actually got them back.
Way to go,
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#12 billzfx4

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:08 AM

So during this whole ordeal, you did not once threaten to shove at least one rifle up someone's 'backside'??
Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me.

#13 Yas

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:40 AM

FF did anyone call the county's fast reaction team and tell them they can stand down from condition red yet? Now that the evil boom sticks are outside city limits.

#14 w00dc4ip

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:54 AM

FF, I'm sure it's been said before, but thank you for taking the trouble of this onto yourself.
When my country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir. - Thomas Paine

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

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#15 wazzle

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:56 AM

I am surprised those 4 rifles didn't lock and load and start shooting up the place all by themselves. It happens all the time. :D :frantics: :frantics: :frantics: :frantics:

#16 Xwing

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:28 AM

Not that it should matter, but are the opposing parties familiar with your legal case history?


I'm sure the city's counsel has got to know that David was one of the key litigants bringing down the city's complete ban on handguns. I have a feeling he is not on their Christmas card list. :D

Thanks for all you are doing, Mr. Lawson!
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#17 oneshot

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 10:33 AM

What a great report! Warmed my heart and tickled my funny bone all at once! Posted Image

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#18 Johnnybgood

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:50 AM

I am surprised those 4 rifles didn't lock and load and start shooting up the place all by themselves. It happens all the time. :D :frantics: :frantics: :frantics: :frantics:


That's because all four of his SKS are defective. Otherwise they would have.

#19 templar223

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:27 PM

I have no explanation for how I managed to resist the urge to commit mayhem with my SKS rifles. Perhaps I might be recommended for a Civilian Commendation.



David,

I hereby nominate you for the Courageous Restraint medal. I know you must have been pining away at all the opportunities to induce further mayhem into the dangerous and generally mayhemenous city of Chicago.

Good work all 'round.

John
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#20 Machine

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:21 PM

Many thanks once again for the time and effort that you have put into this case. Excellent work!
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#21 Fidelity Academy

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:36 PM

Mayhem didn't happen today and I'll explain why.

Pursuant to Cook County Judge Patrick Roger's order, I was permitted to bring my four SKS rifles down to the Chicago Administrative Hearings office (400 W Superior Street) to admit them into evidence along with my own expert witness (big thanks goes out to Andre Queen of Fidelity Investigative Training Academy) and, most importantly, my lawyer (Joel Brodsky), who represented me at the Cook County Court appeal.

Around 11am, I picked up my four SKS rifles where I had them stored (Article II Gun World), where they have been safely stored in order to protect Chicago from the threat of mayhem apparently imminent if they are introduced inside Chicago city limits. Lombard, the home of Article II Gun World, was saved from the SKS mayhem by the state-of-the-art kryptonite lining of the range's storage facilities, no doubt.

From there, Colleen and I drove the dreaded rifles downtown to pick up our legal team and we all proceeded to the Chicago Administrative Hearing office at 400 W. Superior. No mayhem occurred on the way.

We were met at the front by a capable and affable CPD officer who escorted us into the building and inspected the rifles to ensure they were unloaded and no ammunition was present. More mayhem averted.

The hearing.

Chicago strenuously and repeatedly objected to the presence of the four SKS rifles at the beginning and throughout the hearing, prompting the hearing officer (a suburban lawyer under contract to act as 'judge' for hearings between the City and her residentsóno conflict there!) to lament that they were placing him in the uncomfortable position of ignoring the written order of a Cook County Circuit judge. Chicago tried to argue that the order didn't specifically mention examining the rifles. I guess they felt that Judge Rogers wanted the rifles brought in, but hidden lest they induce mayhem. The hearing officer overruled Chicago's objections.

Chicago called a CPD Sergeant who had previously been in charge of the Chicago Gun Registration Unit and assisted in drafting the "Responsible Gun Ownership Ordinance" and who oversaw the unit for the first 3 months of the new ordinance. He testified that the SKS rifles were unregisterable because they can be modified to accept detachable magazines. The Sergeant refused to touch the rifles to demonstrate how they accept said magazines on redirect.

Chicago then called a CPD Officer who works in the same unit and who testified in my previous hearing. He was the officer tasked with researching these particular guns and issuing the denial of registration. Chicago was armed with internet printouts of SKS rifles of the same model as mine being offered for sale. They also presented an internet printout of an online parts seller that shows an exploded view of the SKS and lists parts for sale. They also sell detachable magazines that can be purchased for use in SKS rifles. Finally, the last internet printout showed SKS Drum magazines. Mayhem was a-knockin'!

During cross examination, attorney Joel Brodsky queried the CPD Officer as to whether "grandpa's double-barreled shotgun" with barrel length over 18 inches is registerable. Answer: Yes. He then asked couldn't someone spend 2 minutes with a hacksaw and cut down the barrel such that the firearm was unregisterable? Answer: Yes. This established that registerable firearms can be modifed to be unregisterable. He also pointed out that the Chicago ordinance contemplates that activity and states that should a registered firearm be modified to a firearm that would be unregisterable, it would then become unregistered.

He then asked if there were currently firearms registered that could become unregisterable. Answer: Yes. This was the lead-up to specific questions regarding my Ruger 10/22, that is currently registered. The officer had to admit that I could replace the stock and modify the 10/22 to become unregisterable.

This officer as well refused to touch the firearms at my lawyer's request for a demonstration. There was quite an amusing circular argument that has to be read to be believed. I hope to have transcripts and/or audio when available.

My lawyer first called our expert witness, Andre Queen. He effectively rebutted the testimony of the CPD officers, demonstrating the function of the rifles, their history, and what is required to convert them to accept detachable magazines. On cross, Chicago asked Mr. Queen if he was being paid to testify. Answer: No. They then asked "so you are doing this out of the kindness of your heart?" Answer: As a matter of fact, yes. Priceless!

On close, Chicago tried to characterize this issue as not being about my specific rifles, or myself, and they were forced to admit that I might not be a terrible person. I was gratified. They then argued that this issue is about the protection of Chicago from the increased threat of mayhem proposed by the lawful registration of SKS rifles. Mayhem's a-go-go now!

Three hours later, the hearing was over, and the hearing officer promised his ruling by Friday (August 5th). After dropping my legal team back at their office, and my wife back at home, I transported the dread SKS rifles back outside Chicago city limits, thankfully before any mayhem could happen.

I have no explanation for how I managed to resist the urge to commit mayhem with my SKS rifles. Perhaps I might be recommended for a Civilian Commendation.



I was there, and I still can't believe what I saw and heard. Definitely, the two police officers must have been prompted by the city attorney not to touch the rifles, which was ridiculous, as the rifles had been dutifully escorted and checked by another police officer who sat in the back of the court, trying not to fall off the stool laughing at the silliness himself. Two police officers, who take firearms off of other people on the street, who could not (in high drama and arms waving, mind you) touch the rifles. On top of which, their testimony contradicted each other at times, and neither of whom were armorers. One of the officers presented, as evidence, an exploded view of an "SKS-type rifle" that he downloaded from Google.

FF's attorney made some very good points, as the rifles meet the city's standard for being able to be registered. The city's objection dealt with the fact that they could be modified to be unregisterable, which Attny. Brodsky demonstrated as silly as a registered shotgun could be made unregisterable at a later time by cutting down the barrel or adding a pistol grip. The city attorney objected to the rifles, objected to referring to the rifles, objected to pointing at the rifles, objected to picking up the rifles, and during Mr. Brodsky's case in chief, I thought I saw a city attorney swoon as he picked up one of the rifles (again, high drama - my tax dollars at work as a Chicago resident).

When you consider how many criminals arrested with guns during crimes don't get charged with felony UUW, and how many criminals are out on early release and such, it makes you furious to think of how much time and money has been spent to harass one man, that even the city stated that he is a good man. And the sarcasm tone of the city attorney during the hearing was, at times, too much for even the judge, who warned him that he'd kick the case back up to the circuit court if he kept complaining about the rifles being in court.

To add to the surreal effect of the hearing, down the hall were lines of people waiting to pay the city's department of revenue various fees and fines....

Hours of our lives that we will never get back - but I will stand with honest folks like FF and Mrs. FF every day of the week, to defend their rights.
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#22 Joeyl

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 04:02 PM

FF. Thanks for the post and update. The city's actions are amusing but also disgusting that they tried to justify their actions.

#23 Howard Roark

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 04:43 PM

Do we know if the city has allowed any SKS rifles to be registered and taxed? How did a recording of audio get made without permission of all in the courtroom? Although that infringes peoples first amendment rights, its still the law in illinois, isn't it? Oh, by the way, good work yesterday!
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#24 Don Gwinn

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:14 PM

Not that it should matter, but are the opposing parties familiar with your legal case history?

Oh . . . they know. They really, really know.

Fidelity Academy, you had the quote of the day as far as I'm concerned:

"Are you being paid to appear for Mr. Farmer today?"
"No."
"Oh, so I suppose you're just here out of the goodness of your own heart, right?"
"Well, actually . . . yes."


Golden. That's better than the famous,

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"Do you have a degree in economics?"
"Yes, ma'am, I do. Highest honors."



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#25 Mr. Fife

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:41 PM

I am SO PROUD that I took my CFP training at Fidelity Posted Image

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#26 papa

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:22 PM

I wish we had video and sound of this meeting. On the one hand it is funny , yet on the other hand it is so sad that they will try to go to such lengths to deny people their rights.

My opinion is that they put on the show of being afraid to touch the guns for the Judge. Trying to show the judge that even the chosen ones , who have all kinds of training , shouldn't handle such dangerous rifles. :D I'm also certain the Judge didn't buy it .

My thanks to you guys for toeing the line for everyone's rights.

#27 Mr. Fife

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:26 PM

Posted Image Evil, evil rifles Posted Image

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#28 Federal Farmer

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:08 PM

Do we know if the city has allowed any SKS rifles to be registered and taxed? How did a recording of audio get made without permission of all in the courtroom? Although that infringes peoples first amendment rights, its still the law in illinois, isn't it? Oh, by the way, good work yesterday!


Audio recording of proceedings is standard. As for registration of SKS rifles, I was wondering that myself. They claim no.

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men [and women] stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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#29 oneshot

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 08:06 AM

I think they need to ban loose bricks and tall buildings, they make for a deadly combination. And God forbid anyone have a wheelbarrow full...

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#30 Federal Farmer

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 01:46 PM

We WON!!!

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men [and women] stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

--George Orwell

-- Certified something-or-other by various organizations and governmental entities.