Illinois gun owners beware. There’s a tale going around the Intertubes that the Cook County Sheriff is setting up stings through Armslist. As the story goes, they pose as gun buyers and try to get sellers to complete an illegal sale. Illinois gun owners need a FOID card just to touch a gun, and one poster describes a meet with undercover cops who say they don’t have one. When the seller balks, they then offer more money entice him to ignore that fact . . .

From ARFCOM:

I had a rifle on armslist that I was looking to dump, nothing important. When I received a email from a buyer telling me they wanted to purchase the rifle. We exchanged phone numbers. I received a text last friday asking me to meet the buyer. I was working, but wasn’t busy.

They wanted to meet in Oak Park, I said NO WAY.

They recommended a different spot. I agreed, the Portillos on Roosevelt and DesPlanes. There is a gun range a couple of blocks from there that I thought would be a better place but, it was Friday and I was more afraid of rush hour then I was of the location.

Long story short, it smelled and looked wrong. the car was a pick up with black windows. I’m thinking gangbanger. When I pull up two guys get out of the car, but they are both older white guys. They didn’t match the car. They look over the rifle, but when it comes time to sign the paper work, the guy doesn’t have a FOID card. He tells me he has a domestic arrest.

I tell him I can’t sell him the rifle, he offers more money, I reject his offer. He keeps try. I keep saying NO.

Next thing I know, there are 50 cops surrounding me, they are searching my car, and handcuffing me and toss me in the back of a car.

Within 15 minutes I’m in the Maywood sheriff station. They are asking where I live, how many guns do I own, how many I’ve sold. The experience was rough and distressing. I didn’t want to answer any questions.

All I can think is that I’m in handcuffs for some reason, did I break a law I wasn’t aware of. If I answer a question wrong I end up in a jump suit.

Turns out, I didn’t break any laws. They want me to give them information that I didn’t have. I almost had a heart attack. I walked out an hour later with my rifle.

What the bloody hell was that. Is this how we threat citizens when political fortunes are on the line. It took me a week before I had the nerve to post on this site. I use be mad at people who refused to sell to cook county residents. Now I understand, its not worth it.

How native was I, be-careful. FTF is hard enough without having to worry about bogus stings.

It doesn’t sound like it meets the requirements for “entrapment,” but it’s shady nonetheless. I’m curious as to whether the guy was under arrest or simply “detained,” and what would have happened if he’d asked the right questions. As for what those questions are, watch the YouTube video at the top.

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78 Responses to Cook County Sheriff Running Private Party Firearm Sales Stings?

  1. That video is awesome – have seen it a few times, and between that and the ACLU video “flex your rights” about how to deal with police during traffic stops, I have completely changed how I deal with any interaction with police. Once you realize that they can lie to you, and do NOT have your best interests in mind, it’s easy to see that you shouldn’t say a word to the police no matter what. It can only hurt you – there is no way it can help you.

        • How do you gauge if someone deserves respect? I will always offer a high level of civility until actions prove otherwise. It has worked very well for the last 38 years.

        • @Juan is he wearing a police uniform, yet walking around like he’s in Fallujah? Respect, not granted. Cops need to remember that they are still civilians that would not last five seconds in an actual combat situation. Not do they have any rights not granted to the rest of us.

        • You only show respect to limit any potential damage the pigs do to you at the time (no matter how bad they treat you). If you feel something needs to be done later and you cant take them to court……find out where they live and…….’handle’ it.

    • > That video is awesome

      See
      http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/26/enjoy-this-montage-of-people-refusing-to

      Enjoy This Montage Of People Refusing To Cooperate With DHS Checkpoints
      Scott Shackford | Feb. 26, 2013 6:53 pm

      Hat tip to TMan for posting this link. It was too fun to keep in the
      comments for an unrelated post on a different form of abuse of power. Here’s a crew of folks refusing to submit to questioning at Department of Homeland Security immigration checkpoints that aren’t actually at the border (and one case of a driver refusing to cooperate with one of California’s produce checkpoints as an employee hilariously thinks he can make him leave the state).

      • Here is how a feel about this sequence. If you are an open borders kind of guy I am with you 100%. If you go into tizzy about illegal immigrants than your failure to cooperate with the Border Patrol officers is nothing but rank hypocrisy.

    • I’d be not-so-brave and just drive off when I’d see the tinted-window-pickup, especially after first wanting to meet in a place that makes one respond in “NO WAY”.

  2. This is not entrapment, they decided to skip the whole “crime” thing and go from being dicks directly to detaining someone even though their scheme didn’t work.

    Thank God the man knew his ridiculous local laws. Anyone else in Cook County want to list guns with the intent to try to set these dirty cops up to get video? Sure, some people might get upset at you changing your mind at the last minute to not sell the rifle but getting this stuff on tape would be great.

  3. Simply ask, “Am I being detained?’ If they say no (regardles if you are in handcuffs) say, then I am leaving. If they refuse, get a lawyer and sue the pants of them for a 4th amendment civil rights violation.

    If they say yes, ask “What for?”. If they refuse to answer, ask for your lawyer and STFU.

  4. According to his version of the tale, he gave them no probable cause to detain him. He was almost certainly not arrested (merely detained) but that does not make it any less a voilation of his civil rights to have been detained without cause. He could have been late for and consequently lost a job as a result of this action. He could have had–as he indicated–a medical emergency induced by it. It simply isn’t acceptable to inconvenience a citizen without any cause to do so.

      • I would love to see the paperwork on that one… Sounds like a clear violation of the 4th amendment to me.

        • I’m currently suing the state police in my state for, among other things, an unlawful arrest and my arrest was being handcuffed and stuffed in a squad car. The OP’s being cuffed and (I assume) forcibly taken to the station where he was held for over an hour most certainly constitutes an arrest

        • There may be times when they don’t, but as a general rule, if you see someone with cuffs on, “they’ve been arrested” is the way to bet.

    • He didn’t say how he ended up at the sheriffs office but if it was a handcuffed ride in the back of a cop car that sounds like an arrest to me. Did they read him his rights?

      My understanding of entrapment is luring you into doing something you wouldn’t normally do. For instance setting up a coke dealer to sell a police undercover agent coke is not entrapment. For this not to be entrapment they would need at least some reason, if not probable cause, to believe this man was illegally selling firearms. This story if true reeks of civil rights violations and abuse of power. Oh, I forgot for a second this was Chicago, never mind.

      • “My understanding of entrapment is luring you into doing something you wouldn’t normally do. For instance setting up a coke dealer to sell a police undercover agent coke is not entrapment.”

        SEE… it’s my belief that the coke dealer would not normally sell an illegal drug to an officer of the law. Your explanation was technically correct. It just wasn’t complete.

  5. What’s likely happening here is that the Cook County Sheriff is attempting to make a sting for publicity purposes. If they can catch some white guy selling anything out of the back of his car, they can then go on the news and say “See! Look! We caught someone attempting to funnel weapons into the city!! This is why there’s so many murders!!” There would be even more hysterical coverage if it happened to the a scary black rifle.

    In other local “make an example of” news, a local man gets arrested for carrying, despite the law since being ruled unconstitutional. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-conceal-carry-case-20130312,0,2213293.story

    Illustrating Chicago’s Murders, Homicides, Violence and Idiocy at heyjackass.com

    • The State was given a grace period to come up with a concealed carry provision. So it’s still technically illegal to carry outside your home/business. If, for instance, the carry provision we end up with requires 8 hours of training before issuing a permit, and this guy didn’t have it, he’d be breaking that law.

    • My thoughts exactly. I live in central IL (bad enough) and am embarrassed that my state of residence is run by folks from that area.

    • To quote Bill Cosby from an old stand-up routine about crime – “Why? ‘Cause they’re stupid.”

  6. Also never agree to a search of your car even if you have nothing to hide. Once you do that they don’t have to get a warrant. Make them work for it. By all means learn you rights. You may need them soon.
    I watched this video about a year ago and it changed the way I will interact with the police the next time we have to meet. I haven’t had to think about this stuff since I was a teenager. But my old age has taught me to be prepared for the unexpected. I guess that’s what being a gun owner is about, being prepared for the unexpected.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA

    Your using the 1st amendment here. Your using the 2nd amendment where you are. But are you ready to use the 4th? Because if not you may have to use the 5th or worst yet the 6th and/or 8th.

    • A new tactic they’ve adopted is asking if you consent to a search and if you don’t, getting the drug dog out there. They can make the dog signal that it smells weed or whatever and that’s probable cause enough for them to search anyway.

      http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/19/scotus-approves-search-warrants-issued-b

      Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that “a court can presume” an alert by a drug-sniffing dog provides probable cause for a search “if a bona fide organization has certified a dog after testing his reliability in a controlled setting” or “if the dog has recently and successfully completed a training program that evaluated his proficiency in locating drugs.” The justices overturned a 2011 decision in which the Florida Supreme Court said police must do more than assert that a dog has been properly trained.

      • and with Asset Forfeiture laws, there is plenty of moral hazard to have the dog make ‘false positives’.

        • They don’t even have to mean to. Dog trainers and behaviorists would go out of business if it weren’t for all the people who don’t realize how they’re cueing their dog.

      • Right; unlike humans, a dog doesn’t lie; it isn’t their nature. However, they CAN be TAUGHT to lie by LYING, ARROGANT dirty coppers.

  7. Look at the bright side. They gave him his rifle back. I think he has grounds for a lawsuit here. Once they established that he was going to follow the law they had no cause to detain him.

    I know there are quite a few people here who want to stick it to the man but my advice to anybody who wishes to legally transfer a firearm in hostile political and legal environment do the transaction at a range or, if they will let you, an FFL That way you have lots of witnesses to the transaction and the authorities will be less willing pull this kind of $hit.

    It’s a pretty dumb idea to meet someone that you don’t know alone in place where people are not in close proximity to you. A parking lot generally does not fit that description.

    • > Once they established that he was going to follow the law
      > they had no cause to detain him.

      Yes they did. The cause was “following the law”, “not providing the PR/photo op desired”, and “wasting the cops’ time”.

    • > It’s a pretty dumb idea to meet someone that you don’t know
      > alone in place where people are not in close proximity to you.
      > A parking lot generally does not fit that description.

      I’ve done all my FTF transactions in parking lots. The shadier the better. 😉 Strip clubs, liquor stores, Home Depot.

      Better than inviting armed strangers to your home, IMHO.

      • Those aren’t the only two alternatives. There are safer places to go. I bet that if he said meet me at a gun range the cops or a bad guy would have been a no show.

    • During off-hours and on a multi-level deck, there may very well not be anyone else around. I don’t know the particulars of the story, though.

    • Well that or bring backup. If Lethal Weapon taught me anything, it’s that whenever you’re meeting someone in the middle of nowhere you should always have a sniper watching your back.

  8. Wearing bracelts and being interrogated at a Police Station is most certainly being arrested!

    And for the record, being “detained” is still a form of arrest, aka custodial arrest. If you are not “Free to Go”, you are under arrest.

    • This is not correct legally.

      The OP very well may have been arrested, since he was cuffed and taken to the station, but merely being told you are not free to go DOES NOT mean you have been arrested. You could be detained for investigation. Even an hour is ok with some courts.

  9. > All I can think is that I’m in handcuffs for some reason, did I break a law
    > I wasn’t aware of. If I answer a question wrong I end up in a jump suit.
    > Turns out, I didn’t break any laws.

    In “Second Amendment Penumbras: Some Preliminary Observations” (2012), law professor Glenn Reynolds (aka “Instapundit“) argues that the intent of gun control laws is to create a “chilling effect” in order to deter people from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.

    First Amendment analogies, in fact, suggest another doctrine that might apply: chilling effect. Traditionally, violation of gun laws was treated as mere malum prohibitum, and penalties for violations were generally light. During our nation’s interlude of hostility toward guns in the latter half of the twentieth century, penalties for violations of gun laws, especially in states with generally anti-gun philosophies, became much stiffer. Gun ownership was treated as a suspect (or perhaps “deviant” is a better word) act—one to be engaged in, if at all, at the actor’s peril.

    But with gun ownership now recognized as an important constitutional right belonging to all Americans, that deviant characterization cannot be correct. Regulation of firearms cannot now justifiably proceed on an inerrorem approach, in which the underlying goal is to discourage people from having anything to do with firearms at all. Laws treating fairly minor or technical violations as felonies must be regarded with the same sort of suspicion as pre–New York Times v. Sullivan laws on criminal libel: as improper burdens on the exercise of a constitutional right.

    This change has important penumbral implications. At present, Americans face a patchwork of gun laws that often vary unpredictably from state to state, and sometimes from town to town.

    The whole thing is 14 pages long, and well worth reading.

  10. Im in west central IL and hate the fact that we have to fight Chicagoland politics all the time. If they screw us out of a good conceal carry law im jumpin the river and staying in Iowa.

  11. This definitely needs some kind of investigation if he was taken into custody. From his story, there should have been zero probably cause for that. I would have been pissed beyond belief and cussing out the officers for taking me in and demanding a lawyer. The guy did the right thing and should have been commended by the officers and not taken in and treated like crap.

  12. Even if they want to justify his “detention” and the search of his car as a “Terry stop”, they still need to provide “reasonable suspicion.” From his account, I can’t see where they got that.

    • A Terry Frisk only applies to the immediate grabable area… meaning his person or, if in a car, the driver’s seat, center console, glove box, etc. basically anywhere he could grab or stash a weapon.

      If he was not inside his car, a Terry Frisk would not extend to it.

      • I didn’t think they’d have a good case for classifying it as a Terry stop, but given they have an even worse case for an arrest I wouldn’t put it past them to throw the Hail Mary.

  13. Being under arrest depends on state law. In Kentucky, the statutes specify actions that have to take place for an arrest to be legal:
    KRS 431.025
    Notice of intention to arrest–Act of arrest–Force.
    (1)The person making an arrest shall inform the person about to be arrested of the intention to arrest him, and of the offense for which he is being arrested.

    (2)An arrest is made by placing the person being arrested in restraint, or by his submission to the custody of the person making the arrest. The submission shall be in the actual presence of the arrester.

    (3)No unnecessary force or violence shall be used in making an arrest.

    I would be surprised if Illinois doesn’t have a similar section in their statutes.

    • Here are the two Illinois statutes on lawful arrest and detention:

      (725 ILCS 5/107-5) (from Ch. 38, par. 107-5)
      Sec. 107-5. Method of arrest.
      (a) An arrest is made by an actual restraint of the person or by
      his submission to custody.

      (725 ILCS 5/107-14) (from Ch. 38, par. 107-14)
      Sec. 107-14. Temporary questioning without arrest. A peace officer,
      after having identified himself as a peace officer, may stop any person
      in a public place for a reasonable period of time when the officer
      reasonably infers from the circumstances that the person is committing,
      is about to commit or has committed an offense as defined in Section
      102-15 of this Code, and may demand the name and address of the
      person and an explanation of his actions. Such detention and temporary questioning will be conducted in the vicinity of where the person
      was stopped. (Source: Laws 1968, p. 218.)

      I appears that do to being restrained (i.e. handcuffed) AND being taken
      to the sheriff station the legal definitions of arrest were met.
      Looks like a pretty clear cut case of unlawful arrest/detainment.
      Anybody want to take any bets that the ACLU will step in?

      • I would be surpeised to see the ACLU step in to defend a gun owner. There have been a few exceptions but it appears that the ACLU is in line with the state on this particular civil right, the 2a.

      • I would be shocked if the ACLU stepped in. Those particular CIVIL LIBERTIES violated matter not to them as a gun was involved.

        Shoot… the ACLU is ready to pounce if Arkansas passes Voter ID laws that specifically mandate FREE (as in no cost to the citizen/legal resident) ID cards for voters needing them.

        The ACLU has a warped idea of civil liberties… and nothing at all to do with Law and Justice as defined by the US Constitution or State Constitution (and any liberties defined as protected pre-existing or determined within.)

  14. It was weird growing up in Chicago’s northern suburbs of Morton Grove and Skokie the first two places in America that banned handguns back in 1978 (since reversed). As a kid and young adult I wasn’t able to see and articulate it with an objective 10,000′ overview though I knew the political & social culture was really hypocritical and lacked common sense. It was a strange mix of being politically progressive being socially conservative.

  15. Kommiefornia DOJ has been doing this for quite some time. They come on cal guns into the market place and ask to buy a firearm “off the books”. Everytime I sell a gun on there I get at least 1 “off the books” offer. This doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  16. What appears to happen in Wisconsin is that grabbers are keeping track of sellers & doesn’t rise to much more than that. I will not meet anyone anywhere except my house & this weeds out all the BS’ers, have only run into great people this way, Randy

    • Dumb question, but why in the world would you want to meet at your house? The last thing I want is for some stranger to know where I live and that I own guns…

      • Abolutely. Never bring to your property to purchase something portable. Good idea in this case would be to meet in a parking lot that has survailance cameras and get in front of one. I think this would covers all Walmarts in anywhere. In the Peoples Repubic of Il dang near anywhere. In a cesspool such as Il I’d advise your lawyer ahead of time. Perhaps take a buddy/witness with you? But that might just get them “arrested/shot”. 2 guys would mean a “GANG” to cop/thugs.

        Or meet in Wi/Il/Mo/Ia/free world?

  17. There’s been a lot of talk here recently about raids and stuff but I don’t think that’s how it’s going to go. It’s these efforts to entrap the unwary in the endless cobwebs of the billions of gun laws and regulations out there that will be the rule.
    Intimidate = Subjugate. Make us all just give up.
    I think the best way to fight this is a couple of massive wins in court against those pulling this stuff. I’m sure the cops involved in this were just frustrated in not nailing a hide on the wall and got angry – perfect situation to nail them – and Cook County – with.

    • Exactly precisely this.

      The emotionally reactive focus among RKBA people has been on “confiscation.”

      That’s not the path to latter-day totalitarianism. It’s too costly–even the stupidest grabbers, when pressed to speak from a less rabid stance, will admit it cannot work. Sure, they can lead with that talk, and even float unconstitutional legislation to that effect, signing on as lawmakers to bills they haven’t read and the like.

      The way to disabuse people of their inborn rights is to make those rights so expensive to exercise, they will give up trying.

      This has been going on with RKBA for my entire 50 years. First by pricing it out of the reach of working and poor families. Later by locking down the places where people can go to shoot. Then by setting up these miasms of conflicting and constantly changing laws, regulations, stipulations, codes, ordinances…. Now by increasing the harassment and shaming of law-abiding RKBA people.

      I read that just this morning in WA State someone in a yuppie neighborhood (I looked it up on CityData) called 911 because they saw a man with a firearm. The local schools were locked down and different places I looked were talking about an “active shooter with an AR 16.”

      No word yet on what actually happened that I can find…but calling it a 911 emergency to see someone with a firearm? I’d say that’s using public resources and state power to harass and intimidate. A form of brandishing IMO.

      I’ll be happy to stand corrected on this (an actual threat/response) and am looking for clarification of the event.

  18. Here are the two Illinois statutes on lawful arrest and detention:

    (725 ILCS 5/107-5) (from Ch. 38, par. 107-5)
    Sec. 107-5. Method of arrest.
    (a) An arrest is made by an actual restraint of the person or by
    his submission to custody.

    (725 ILCS 5/107-14) (from Ch. 38, par. 107-14)
    Sec. 107-14. Temporary questioning without arrest. A peace officer,
    after having identified himself as a peace officer, may stop any person
    in a public place for a reasonable period of time when the officer
    reasonably infers from the circumstances that the person is committing,
    is about to commit or has committed an offense as defined in Section
    102-15 of this Code, and may demand the name and address of the
    person and an explanation of his actions. Such detention and temporary questioning will be conducted in the vicinity of where the person
    was stopped. (Source: Laws 1968, p. 218.)

    I appears that do to being restrained (i.e. handcuffed) AND being taken
    to the sheriff station the legal definitions of arrest were met.
    Looks like a pretty clear cut case of unlawful arrest/detainment.
    Anybody want to take any bets that the ACLU will step in?

  19. If it is legal, private citizens need to start setting up stings with anti-gun local politicians or sheriffs enticing them with a seductive woman while secretly recording the event. Later, post the video on youtube for entertainment.

  20. Would so many come to defend the FD if they went around setting fires just so they could have something to put out?

    • That’s not the only reason firemen set fires. For some it’s a psychosexual deviancy thing. Watching fires makes them hot – NOT just overheated. And waiting for them to occur just doesn’t gratify often enough.

  21. Y’know, this kinda reminds me of Eric Dorismond, a guy the NYPD perforated because he said “no” to drugs.

    The OP is lucky that he’s sill breathing.

  22. if it really went down as you say, that you didn’t commit the crime they were hoping you’d commit then you should sue them for false arrest and imprisonment. it would have been ok if you had broken the law but if you had “wasted their time” by acting lawfully it is completely improper that they should then arrest you.

  23. For all of you people out there who naively believe that there are good cops out there and on our side, this story emphasizes that that is not so. Fifty cops swarmed him for NOT breaking the law. Fifty. The “good” cops cannot all have been on break or on their day off. Just like Santa, they simply do not exist no matter how hard you believe. I am sure that the cops and military who rounded up the Jews, gypsies, and disabled all believed they were “good” people too. Yet they did it for the Nazi’s anyway. Just like these FIFTY cops.

  24. Fifty cops? Really? I live near the area where this incident took place and there was ABOSLUTELY NO MENTION OF IT AT ALL in the local media. Anywhere. Is there any verification of this story or is everyone reposting it like a bunch of tin foil hat whackjobs?

    I am as pro gun as they come but I think this story is bullshit and it does not serve us well to run around spreading gossip like a bunch of catty old women. It only gives “the other side” another reason to deride us as paranoid nuts.

    Either provide verification that this incident actually took place or quit shooting your mouths off like a freaked-out horde of dingbats.

    Fifty cops indeed. Liar.

  25. Yep, paranoid nuts. We are paranoid because we think people are trying to take our guns. And what do you know, THEY ARE. New gun legislation is popping up in several states like Colorado and Washington. Bans have been passed in New York. So just because YOU did not hear about something Lee, that does not mean it did not happen or is not true. Let me try a little of your faulty reasoning with you Lee. I think you are a shill for Mayor Bloomberg. You demand verification from others, so prove that you are not.

  26. and cops wonder why such disgust for them exists. They should follow the law and stop treating all citizens as criminals. Their job is tough and one day they may need us average citizens to help them out.

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