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Old July 20, 2010, 02:58 PM   #1
Uzi4u2
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Chicago police confiscate guns by destroying owners FOID and registration cards

This happens everyday in Chicago. The police enter homes without search warrants all the time. It isn't reported in the papers obviously. It happened to someone I know. The police pushed their way into his home with some lousy excuse. Apparently someone called the police and said illegal activity is occurring there with no evidence they violated this individuals rights. Being a law abidding citizen he opened the door. They walked in and went straight to his bedroom. They found three rifles all registered. He showed them his FOID card and registration forms. They confisicated the forms and his guns. He was charged with not having registered firearms or a FOID card. The first lawyer he saw told him it was hopeless. He wouldn't be able to get back any of his firearms and he might spend some time in jail. Well, my friend turned to James Valentino (Illinois State Firearm Association President). Mr. Valentino being a lawyer went with my friend to court. He presented all the photo copies my friend had showing that he had a valid FOID and gun registration cards. Mr. Valentino even mention that his client was so law abidding that he even registered some of the firearms before he received them (proactive move). The judge threw the case out and returned all the firearms (AR-15 shorty, AK-47 folder, and an AT-9). Total cost unknown. My friend was arrested in front of all his neighbors. His firearms were paraded outside his home. He spent over $1000 to get back his firearms. He was held in prison for 12 hours. He was finger printed. Pictures were taken of him. How do you put a price on that? I figure one day, that debt will be paid in full. My friend still has the court decision that set his firearms free. The sad thing is after this my friend sold off his gun collection. He was never quite the same again.

Last edited by Shane Tuttle; July 20, 2010 at 07:21 PM. Reason: language
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Old July 20, 2010, 04:00 PM   #2
C Philip
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Sorry to hear about it but it was partly his own fault.
Quote:
Being a law abidding citizen he opened the door.
Big mistake, this implies consent to search. Never consent to any searches. If your friend denied the police entry to his home since they didn't have a warrant, even if they forced their way in, found the guns, destroyed his FOID and he couldn't produce copies of his FOID, he should have been able to get off free since the firearms were seized illegally. Evidence obtained by searches the owner does not consent to is not admissible in court unless the police have probable cause that a crime is being committed, in which case they can search without a warrant. I don't think an anonymous tip is probable cause, but I may be wrong there. In any case having the guns in a safe would have been a good idea since it would be hard to come up with probable cause that a crime should be occuring inside a safe.

Check out http://flexyourrights.org/ for some good info about searches and talking to police.
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Old July 20, 2010, 04:07 PM   #3
Wildalaska
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And is this a widespread thing? or just one person? And is that the entire story

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Old July 20, 2010, 04:37 PM   #4
BillCA
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This, of course, points out the sanity of making copies of any legally required registration documents, permits, gun cards, etc. ad nauseum -- and then storing them in a safe deposit box. What the government issues to you in today's electronic world, they can "erase" quickly and claim they don't have a record of your permits/applications.

It's also a prime example of why requiring any form of licensing or permit is unconstitutional. You can't license a right.

If police testified that the could not produce his FOID card and registration at the time of his arrest and there is evidence from his criminal preliminary hearing that officers seized (then lost or destroyed them) he has grounds for a civil suit against the city. Whether he can win or not is another question. But if he could recover photocopies of his documents from inside his home, that would lend credence to his story that the documents existed until the PD took custody of them. For officers willfully destroying evidence (especially of a citizen's innocence) and the resulting chaos it makes of his life and faith in police, I'd think a suit to recover all costs, plus $250,000 for emotional depression and suffering would be about right.

Keeping your guns in a safe is extra security against this kind of unlawful seizure too. It's also a good reason to add a security screen door to your home so that you can open the door (as demanded by police) to talk to them without letting them easily gain entrance to the house.
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Old July 20, 2010, 05:38 PM   #5
dogtown tom
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Quote:
C Philip Sorry to hear about it but it was partly his own fault.

Quote:
Quote:
Being a law abidding citizen he opened the door.
Big mistake, this implies consent to search.
In what country?
Consent to search in the United States takes a bit more than opening the door.
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Old July 20, 2010, 05:55 PM   #6
C Philip
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I guess I should have stated that better. If you open the door and let them inside, you are consenting to a search even if you do not explicitly say so. You should step outside to speak to them (of course you have to open the door to do this), not open the door to let them in. Watch this video here:
http://flexyourrights.org/faq/how_to...e_at_your_door
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Old July 20, 2010, 06:17 PM   #7
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Philip
I guess I should have stated that better. If you open the door and let them inside, you are consenting to a search even if you do not explicitly say so.
The original post says he opened the door, nowhere does it say he allowed them to enter or gave them permission to search.

Further, if you admit an officer into (for example) your entrance hallway to talk, he is legally entitled to see anything he can see from that point. Admitting him to the entry hallway to talk in no way grants him authorization to go down the hall and start searching bedrooms.

Opening a door and allowing them to enter authorizes them to enter. It does NOT authorize them to search.
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Old July 20, 2010, 06:29 PM   #8
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Such is the case .......

..... in Mordor.

(Most of) The rest of America is still free.
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Old July 20, 2010, 06:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
he has grounds for a civil suit against the city
With all due respect, this is meaningless in a city like Chicago.

Assuming all the facts as stated in the OP are correct, what the officers did in this case was felony obstruction of justice and false arrest, and the only effective remedy is if the city/state's attorney pursues criminal charges against them. I think it's safe to say the officers in this case weren't/aren't the least bit worried about civil litigation brought against the city.
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Old July 20, 2010, 08:34 PM   #10
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It's also a prime example of why requiring any form of licensing or permit is unconstitutional.
9 days, AZ will no longer require any governemtn permission slip to carry concealed, and we have always had open carry. Step on over, sir.

I agree, don't let them in without a warrant. if they burst in, DO NOT RESIST, you may be injured or killed, make sure the cameras/microphones pick up you saying you do not consent to be searched without a warrant, then shut up and lawyer up.
I had a man ask me, "Why, do you have something to hide?"
I answered, "The fact that I have nothing to hide doesn't give you the right to search."
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Old July 20, 2010, 08:45 PM   #11
Shane Tuttle
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You have any court records or documents, Uzi?
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Old July 20, 2010, 09:18 PM   #12
Uzi4u2
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If they would have came in forceably, they still would have kept all of his firearms. The only reason why he got everything back is because of the photocopies he made just in case he lost the originals. Try getting a copy of something that the city doesn't want you to get!
Yes, he still has the court paper work. He even has the tag they put on each of his firearms. You should have seen the police officers face when the judge ordered everything returned to the owner. I was there. He looked sick to the stomach. My friend walked out of 26th and California where they store all confiscated firearms (in the basement) with his three rifles in hand. They obviously kept the ammo. Too bad...
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Old July 20, 2010, 09:33 PM   #13
Uzi4u2
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Luckily for us he doesn't throw anything out. He has all the paper work and he still has copies of everything. The first photo shows what he was charged with no FOID and no gun registration. The second one shows case being discharged and Feather AT-9 being returned to owner.
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Old July 21, 2010, 12:25 AM   #14
Mike Irwin
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Wait a minute, this happened in 1991? Is that what the first document says? When was the order filed to return all of the items?

And what sort of back up do you have to the "this happens every day in Chicago"?

If it were truly widespread and a pervasive practice, I'd think we'd have heard of it before this.
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Old July 21, 2010, 07:56 AM   #15
Al Norris
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1991?

I find nothing to substantiate the claims of the OP. This was old when TFL was young!

A singular case from ~20 years ago is not a crisis. Closed.
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