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Old October 16, 2010, 11:29 AM   #1
Harry Callahan
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Join Date: January 1, 2006
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Sticky situation?

I am in a bit of a quandary. I am seriously considering carrying in my car's center console in the prescribed manner. There are occasions where I have to go in to bad neighborhoods while doing my job. When I first started this job(then for an insurance company since acquired by my present employer and in a company car)I had to sign a document which stated that I would not carry a gun in the car and if ever caught doing so would be grounds for immediate dismissal. I am a little hesitant to inquire what my present employer's position is because I don't want to tip my hand regarding my position on self defense and my right to carry. I no longer drive a company car, instead driving my own and getting paid for mileage. I have an Illinois Firearm Owners ID(FOID), along with Pennsylvania and Florida carry permits which I use when my job takes me to Indiana or Missouri. I still am afraid that in Illinois I could be pulled over by some Barney Fife wannabe who, upon finding out I have a gun in my console, will put me in jail until they sort through all the legalities, which could cost me my job. I don't want to put my family in that position but still don't want to feel helpless every time I go to a bad neighborhood. Also, see link below for law regarding this in Illinois. Any thoughts?
"Ah ah. I know what you're thinkin'. Did he fire 6 shots or only 5? To tell you the truth in all this excitement I've kind of lost track myself. But with this being a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off... you've got to ask yourself a question. Do I feel lucky? WELL DO YA, PUNK?!!!"- Harry Callahan(Dirty Harry)
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Old October 16, 2010, 11:41 AM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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Tough call.

Question: Let's say you are stopped for speeding (or burned out taillight, or whatever). How is Deputy Fife going to know you have a handgun in the console? Does Illinois require you to notify an LEO that there is a weapon in the vehicle -- not on your person?

Assuming no requirement to notify, if it's in the console it's out of sight. Barney should have no cause to search your vehicle on a traffic stop.
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Old October 16, 2010, 01:45 PM   #3
44 AMP
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Location: Upper US
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Tough call....

But look at the bottom line. If you are alive, you can get another job.

Maybe not easily, but a lot easier than if you are dead.

If it were me, I would be looking really hard at finding something else to make a living at that didn't put me (and my family) in such risk. Jobs, houses, even the kids schools are all things that can be replaced. Life is not.

And winding up dead, or paralysed because you were following the law, or the company policy is IMHO really poor compensation for doing the "right" thing.

One possible loophole, don't drive the company car when you go to those bad neighborhoods. That way, if you are armed, and Dept Fyfe busts you for it (regardless of the final outcome) you have not violated company policy. If they fire you, you have grounds for legal action.

Of course, you have to be sure that company policy doesn't prohibit you from driving your own car on company business (some do, for insurance reasons, since they supply the car). Check it out. It may be a way for you to be armed, and in compliance. Or it may not. The devil is in the details.

I wish you luck.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old October 16, 2010, 11:29 PM   #4
Onward Allusion
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Laminate the IL Supreme Court Decision and place it in your glove box for Barney.

My personal opinion - better to be alive and unemployed than die while working.

Good luck!
"You haven't lived until you've died." - various
People . . . not a big fan . . .
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Old October 17, 2010, 05:51 PM   #5
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You can do what's legal or what's safe.
Just wear a suit and tie, drive real careful, behave like an upstanding citizen if you are stopped, and it's doubtful the thought that you have a gun will even cross a cop's mind.
Especially in a place like Chicago, where it's anything but normal to even have one.
And, if the worse would happen, and you had to use it to stay alive, that's surely better than the alternative.
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Old October 17, 2010, 06:59 PM   #6
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I don't see the problem. The law as I read it says you are allowed to carry in the center console as long as you have a FOID and the magazines are removed, though they can be in the console as well.

If you are stopped by the police then having the gun should not be a problem as it is legally carried. Why would your employer ever know about this except that you received a traffic ticket? Even less so if you are driving your privately owned vehicle.

The only time your employer might find out you are carrying in your car is if you are involved in a situation of using the gun. Their policy should not cover you while in your own property unless you are paid for your travel time then you may have to operate on their policy terms.

And if you have to use the gun then the job implications are far less important then being in fear of your life or great bodily harm.

I would carry according to the law, drive safely and within the law. If on the slight chance I had to use my handgun then I would accept whatever job consequences pan out. Chances are the employer would not be aware of this unless you are featured on the front page anyway.
"The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition."
- James Madison
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