One thing that gives many who are new to the world of concealed carry pause is how one should deal with encounters with law enforcement officers while armed. Maybe that’s because, as As GOA chief Larry Pratt suggested, existing federal law and precedent seems to allow police responding to a “man with a gun” call to “treat every law-abiding gun owner like a criminal . . . grabbing him, twisting his arm behind his back, slamming him down on the ground, and handcuffing him.”

In at least one state, however, that simply won’t do, and an Appellate Court has held that, due to the extra protections afforded under the state constitution (as opposed to the federal one), police don’t get to assume someone’s up to no good simply because they might be carrying a concealed gun.

The state in question is Illinois, and the court’s jurisdiction is Cook County and the City of Chicago.

If you’re surprised…well, you probably should be. It wasn’t so long ago that the Land of Lincoln barred the mere possession of a gun by its citizens in public, law enforcement and active military notwithstanding. State and City leaders still to this day do everything they can to resist the notion that the People possess an individual right to keep and bear arms.

But the Appellate Court that heard the matter of People v. Horton, 2017 IL App (1st) 142019, dispassionately fulfilled their duty, stating: “We cannot sidestep or disregard instruction from both the United States and Illinois Supreme Courts to achieve a specific outcome…. [W]e must follow, not rewrite, the established law and the facts in evidence.”

Those facts are straightforward. Two of Chicago’s finest were cruising past a house on East End Avenue when they saw Markell Horton standing on the front porch. One of the officers, Roderick Hummons, thought he saw a “metallic object” and a “bulge” in Horton’s waistband.

Markell Horton

When Five-O stopped the cruiser, Hummons “made eye contact” with Horton, who subsequently turned and “rushed inside the house”, locking the door behind him. Proving that it is far bette rto be lucky than good, Hummons “found” a set of house keys on the porch, and–after backup arrived–unlocked the door and walked on in, eventually locating Horton “in one of the bedrooms crouched next to a bed.”

A shiny chrome semiautomatic handgun was discovered underneath the mattress, and subsequently Horton was convicted of one count of being an Armed Habitual Criminal–which in Illinois means he knowingly possessed a firearm after being convicted of two qualifying felonies. (In Horton’s case, two separate convictions in 1998 and 2003 for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.)

In his appeal, Horton’s attorneys argued that there were many problems with the search. As legal writer Mark Joseph Stern put it:

Two officers stopped in front of a house, at which point its apparent residents went inside. Because one resident might have been armed, the officers barged into the house and detained its occupant while searching for the weapon. Yes, it turned out to be possessed unlawfully. But what if Horton had a concealed carry permit? At the time of the search, the officers only knew that a man with a gun was inside of a house. Did that give them reasonable suspicion to enter the house and search it?

[1]

Two of the three judges on the Appellate Court said no, it sure doesn’t.

[T]he possible observation of a handgun is not in itself, without any other evidence of a crime, sufficient to provide an officer with probable cause for arrest…. [T]he evidence established no basis for probable cause other than a hunch that the metallic object might be a handgun, nor does the State provide a different basis for probable cause.

The Court went further, invoking a hypothetical involving probable cause to check driver’s licenses that was eerily similar to one proffered by TTAG reader Omer Baker in an earlier comment:

It is also illegal to drive a car without a valid license. If an officer makes eye contact with another motorist, and that motorist then turns onto another street, can the officer execute a traffic stop to verify that the motorist has a valid driver’s license? In that situation, we would say the police officer needed to have reasonable suspicion, based on articulable facts, that this particular motorist did not have a valid license. Officer Hummons had no articulable facts to believe that Horton was carrying a firearm [legally].

The right to keep and bear arms is not necessarily at its strongest in Illinois, but there’s no doubt that this was a win for gun owners. Contrary to expectations, though, it didn’t involve the Second Amendment or even the Fourth Amendment. Instead, it hinged on the fact that the Illinois Supreme Court had held that the Illinois Constitution provided protections for the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures above and beyond that of the Federal Constitution.

Yes, sports fans, elections at the state level are often more important for your rights than the ones at the federal level. Never forget that.

Mark Joseph Stern, Slate.com.

The story could end there, but there’s one more thing that needs to be mentioned. This matter came to my attention due to the article written by Mark Joseph Stern, who works for Slate, covering “the law and LGBTQ issues.” He is not particularly fond of an expansive right to keep and bear arms, if we can judge from previous articles, and in November, said he was afraid for his life because…Donald Trump had been elected.

Yet, Stern had naught but praise for the decision. He spent most of his article running through the litany of federal cases in which federal judges have gleefully tried to cut some of the muscle out of the Second Amendment, even if it also meant cutting back a little on that annoying Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, too. He concludes:

It might be tempting for liberals to view these cases through the lens of gun control and favor the state or for conservatives to see them as a question of law and order and support the officers. Both sides should resist the temptation. A rule that allows cops to search or seize individuals for carrying a gun can only lead to more brutality against young black men like Philando Castile. It also permits officers to trample upon our rights to property and self-defense. These are constitutional values, not partisan ones. And advocates across the ideological spectrum should urge the courts to follow the [Illinois Appellate Court’s] lead and reject the disastrous illogic now developing in the federal circuits.

The title of his article is telling: “Why Liberals Should Be Alarmed that Courts are Eroding the Second Amendment“.

Is this just a one-off? A reconsideration of the benefits of federalism and limited government after seeing someone he truly fears elected to office? One never knows. It is surprising to see the themes we’ve been hammering for years finally echoed in such a liberal establishment publication as Slate. But no more so than watching the gun rights renaissance that has gone on in Illinois, I suppose.

Notes

[1] At the time of conviction, Illinois’ ban on firearms carry — open or concealed — for all non military / non law enforcement personnel was still in effect. And even though an ex-felon like Horton would have been prohibited from possessing a firearm regardless, the Appellate Court held that an unconstitutional statute does not ‘become constitutional’ just because it is applied to a particular of persons who could have been regulated had the legislature seen fit to do so.

77 Responses to You’ll Never Guess Which State’s Courts Just Made a Decision Protecting Gun Owners….

  1. This seems like a case along the lines of Griswold v. Connecticut and basically an illegal search. Any law student , let alone judge would quote you ” the product of an illegal search is inadmissible in court”. I believe its referred to as “the fruit of a poison tree”.

    • Is there more than one Griswold v. Connecticut? Because the one I’m thinking of involves a right to privacy but I’m not sure it has anything to do with illegal searches… maybe I’m missing it.

      In any case, exigency is not a simple decision, as much as it might seem to law students. Plenty of judges would find that both this detention and exigent entry into the house here were legal (as the first judge did). Seeing someone with a likely gun concealed upon them in a high-crime neighborhood who then flees the police upon approach? Classic Terry v. Ohio stop. From there we could talk about the warrantless entry (legal in many cases if someone is fleeing the police, especially with a weapon).

      Point is, I don’t see this as Illinois protecting gun rights. They’re protecting criminals. It’s kinda what they do.

      • You are essentially correct. In a nutshell, in Griswold the Supreme Court held that the Connecticut’s ban on contraceptives violated the right of marital privacy.

        • Griswold more referred to the idea that a woman need not have marital privacy (a husband) to get reproductive prevention privacy. Basically it determined that a single woman could buy birth control pills with prescription and marriage was not required to be permitted to do so.

        • Having been in exactly the same situation, numerous times, probably in the same neighborhood, at one point or another, in a long period of my life, my partner and I were not that inclined to doing very ‘aggressive’ patrol when the radio was fairly calm, which was not often in most areas of high crime in Chicago. In big cities almost/virtually anyone in the concentrated crime areas could be randomly stopped and searched on the street and you’d have better than a fifty-fifty chance of hitting on at least a misdemeanor. especially if you had a developed body language and profiling skill and kept a mental data bank of overall ‘suspicious’ activity characters for instant reference. Reasonable suspicion was always easy to articulate by police ‘tricks of the trade’ fabrication. And genuine probable cause was always ‘slipped over’ if the subject more than likely was caught red handed with something and charged accordingly. We would have let this slide and drove on acting like we didn’t really noticing anything strange because after all it was on private property where people often behave strangely and have the perfect right to do so, as long as they aren’t doing an obvious crime or engaged in violent action.

          But we would have made a mental note to stop to talk to this person if we saw him walking down the street at some time in the future. We already had enough LE experience to know this type of ‘engagement’ would be stretching the laws of proper arrest, not to mention a better than average chance of it escalating into a nightmare that we would regret later.
          And my partner and I were both in John Marshal law school part time in those days. We had better ways of ‘Serving and protecting’ for the than escalating situations that were NOT in any reasonable NEED to be escalated into out of control violence. Our personal patrol theme was, as taught to us by wise old training officer cops. ‘Don’t make a big deal out of anything that ain’t, it’s called police discretionary powers’ There were two types of cops back then. Those that tried to follow the law and treat people accordingly the way they or their family would like to be treated, or the other kind, the Asset Forfeiture Addicted illicit War on Drugs jackboots who make up their own gestapo rules and tried to get away with them as often as possible.

          These days, with all the scrutiny on cases like this, I can’t believe the cops in this incident even initiated the primary ‘plain view’ search on the outside of the premises and found and seized ‘keys’ to use to then to continue their illegal actions to affect a warrantless home search behind locked doors without consent?! It’s obvious they were of the aforementioned
          ‘second type’.

          But I’m heartened by this ruling by the court. I can’t see how there could have been any dissent, it should have been a unanimous decision? But reversing the insidious disease of totalitarianism in this country is an uphill battle. One that all of us, including citizens, police, and judiciary, should prioritize.

        • I’ve always been surprised with what the courts will let the government get away with. A good example is all the unwarranted searches the Coast Guard can do.

    • Basically, this is a case of ‘looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, but it’s rabbit season’. This case has nothing to do with possession of firearms (the man was a 2 time felon and can’t have guns anyway), but an illegal search/seizure case.

      The cops had reasonable suspicion that a crime had occurred, but no probable cause to search the house, regardless.

        • Grew up on Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. The whole ‘Wabbit Season! Duck Season!’ thing was awesome!

  2. ‘Splain to me how this “protects” legal gun owners?!? I’m cool with the decision but homie was a” habitual criminal”. I’m not…

        • Feel free to explain how drug possession and trade actually harm people and therefore deserve to be classified as crimes.

          Note that the drug war cut off scientific study of said drugs and handed control over to a law enforcement agency with the scientific and pharmaceutical knowledge of.. well.. a drug warrior, i.e. zero.

        • If you are for small government you in no way can be for the war on drugs. It’s big government attacking people for using substances that by and large are less dangerous that alcohol while also restricting the free market from making a national profit selling said drugs.

      • Why is drug possession and trade a bad thing? Oh gee, I don’t know, maybe something to do with the fact that drug deals gone wrong account for a large portion of gang violence in the U.S, which in turn accounts for a large portion of overall violence in the U.S? Or the fact that drug addicts have historically been willing to do some pretty heinous shit to get drugs or money for drugs? I mean I don’t give a shit about someone smoking a little weed, but you have to be drop dead stupid to suggest that drug possession and trade is not a problem.

        But then again I am talking to TTAG’s resident troll/retard. I don’t know which one you are but either way you’re pretty damn good at it.

        • “drug deals gone wrong account for a large portion of gang violence in the U.S, which in turn accounts for a large portion of overall violence in the U.S? Or the fact that drug addicts have historically been willing to do ”

          Typical drug warrior line which completely ignores causality. Violence in a government created black market? Shocking. But government dindu nuffin, amirite?

          “Or the fact that drug addicts have historically been willing to do some pretty heinous shit to get drugs or money for drugs?”

          Pure conjecture and unproven by actual crime statistics. If casual drug use is actually increasing over the last four decades, why has crime been on a four decade long decline?

          “I don’t give a shit about someone smoking a little weed, but you have to be drop dead stupid to suggest that drug possession and trade is not a problem.”

          Another standard drug warrior line that I preemptively addressed: current drug laws are actually harming actual medical study of said drugs, so your claim of the drug trade being a problem because one drug is supposedly less harmful than others is not based on scientific reality.

          “troll/retard”

          As usual the drug warrior operates at the mental level of an obedient dog.

        • ^+1

          (Fist bump, to Waldo)

          Yer response beat me to it.
          The only thing I would add would be,
          “Here’s yer sign…” -Bill Engvall

        • Try responding to the points instead of resorting to ad hominem. Oh wait, you can’t. 🙂

        • MDS, I think the war on drugs is a bit overdone. I don’t believe that every drug should be legal, don’t get me wrong. But marijuana for instance is no worse than alcohol IMO. But this right here makes me question your sanity…

          “Or the fact that drug addicts have historically been willing to do some pretty heinous shit to get drugs or money for drugs?”

          Pure conjecture and unproven by actual crime statistics.

          Are you ACTUALLY going to try to convince anyone here that heroine or meth addicts DON’T do some pretty heinous shit to get their drugs? THAT’S the thing you want to stand on? Do you even believe yourself when you call such a statement “pure conjecture”?!?!?!?

        • “Are you ACTUALLY going to try to convince anyone here that heroine or meth addicts DON’T do some pretty heinous shit to get their drugs? THAT’S the thing you want to stand on? Do you even believe yourself when you call such a statement “pure conjecture”?!?!?!?”

          Some do. I object to the term “historically” (meaningless weasel word), and the open-ended nature of the statement which implies this kind of behavior is not only widespread and systemic, but also that drugs play a causal factor.

          Firstly, individual actions do not prove a trend or causality. Secondly, drug price fluctuation due to the nature of government created black markets plays a large role in unsettling the market in such a way as to drive dependents to crime.

          As I said, the long term crime trend in the face of increasing casual drug use flies in the face of the argument at the macro-level. At the micro-level, individual acts of horror cannot justify any of what the government is doing.

        • Ok, the fact that you just said that we don’t know for sure that pot is less dangerous than meth because of the drug war is all the proof I need that you are either 100% stupid or 100% trolling. I keep mentioning trolling because I desperately want to believe that you’re not actually this stupid. Either way, this conversation is going exactly nowhere. Thanks for playing kid, and I look forward to reading your future comments. They’re always good for a laugh, albeit at the expense of my faith in humanity.

        • “you just said that we don’t know for sure that pot is less dangerous than meth because of the drug war”

          I never used the word “meth” at all. You did. Don’t make stuff up, it makes you look stupid.

          By the way variants of methamphetamine have been used by psychiatrists until the drug war cut off all research.

        • Yes and cigarettes are terrible and pot is good. Silly damn potheads are about as irritating as athletes foot,

        • Violence was also rampant when the government banned alcohol due to black market alcohol sales. Fun fact though, when prohibition was repealed that violence disappeared overnight because the power was removed from the gangs and returned to the market.

          And if you don’t believe me you can look up the historical information or better yet, you can look at modern day states that are currently legalizing marijuana. Their crime is significantly down while their market revenues are significantly up due to new businesses opening. It doesn’t take a rocket scientists to realize that ending drug prohibition will make us safer and wealthier as a nation.

        • I know first hand what Heroin does.
          This has become such a problem and is totally out of control.
          How this MORON thinks alcohol is more of a problem is telling.

      • 1. Ok, there’s two sides to every argument. So can you give me a few reasons why drugs are a good thing that shouldn’t be regulated? And I never said the government “dindu nuffin”, let’s stay on topic here. I called you a troll/moron based on evidence, you’re just making shit up.

        2. Please cite where I stated that the rate of people doing bad shit for drugs is increasing? I simply said that it happens, which is blatantly obvious and easily verifiable.

        3. Studying how drugs affect health? Seriously? We know how drugs affect health. There are detailed reports on how each chemical in a drug interacts with the human body to cause a given reaction. Come on, you can do better than that. I also didn’t say that “drug trade is a problem because one drug is supposedly less harmful than the others”, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. A significant number of casual pot users are perfectly capable of functioning and being successful in the real world. How many high functioning methheads do you think there are?

        • 1. Strawman. Never said drugs are a good thing. Drugs shouldn’t be regulated because it is not in the purview of the federal government, and all attempts at drug regulation have had the opposite effect of increasing users, increasing violence, and increasing the wealth of the people willing to deal in drug black markets.

          2. Unless you are claiming a causal effect, your statement is meaningless. As for the causal effect, I already addressed the relevance of individual acts in another post.

          3. No, we don’t know. The drug war has stalled medical study of many scheduled drugs, especially in the fields of dependence and treatment. You claim pot is somehow less dangerous than other drugs, I’m claiming you have zero basis for that statement because of the drug war.

      • So if drug crimes are not real crimes how come prisons are full of people convicted of drug crimes?

        In your opinion drug crimes are not real crimes. But your opinion is worth less in a court of law than it is around here. If that’s possible.

        For what its worth, it’s the only area in which we agree. The drug war is a steaming pile of shit that was lost long ago.

        • Pro-tip: pointing out the relative value of an individual opinion on the internet is an entirely worthless thing to do.

          Also good thing I never framed my argument in a legal context. Nice reading comprehension skills from you, as always. 🙂

        • Usual load of snark and bullshit. You said they weren’t real crimes, which is framing it in a legal context.

          You really don’t debate an issue, do you? You just get your jollies off trolling.

          Pro Tips from a professional troll have no value. Just so you know.

        • Nice try. People on this board say “gun crimes are not real crimes” all the time. The reference is to morality, not legality. There is no doubt about the latter.

          As usual, here is some zero value advice: learn to read. 🙂

        • Try using morality as a defense in court. There’s legal and illegal. Right and wrong hardly enter into it.

          They should. But that’s a world with unicorns and skittles.

          All this is academic, anyway. You have stated many times that complaining on the interwebz is the extent of your involvement.

          Are you still claiming you don’t vote?

        • Why are you changing the goalposts? The only person arguing the legal context is you. I know the only way you can get your jabs at me is by twisting and contorting what I say, but can you at least try to be subtle about it?

          “All this is academic, anyway. You have stated many times that complaining on the interwebz is the extent of your involvement.”

          Post a quote from me saying this. Or are you just making stuff up on top of twisting words? Yep, you’re just making stuff up now. It is a sad and pitiful display from you, as always. 🙂

        • Statements from you when you’re MDS? Blaine Cooper? Sexual Trannysoreass? Talk about making things up. You got a whole committee in your head.

        • A qoute from who? Blaine Cooper? Sexual Trannysoreass? More Dead Soldiers? You got a committee meeting in your head,

          Talk about moving goal posts. You said drug crimes were not real crimes. Now you’re backpedaling.

          Geez, ever since hillary lost you’ve been in a tail spin. Accept it. Trump is your president and he will be for 8 years.

        • I’ve tried to answer you twice now. It seems you’ve been banned around here under so many names that using one or two of them deletes the comment.

          So I will finish our talk by simply saying. Get over it, hillary lost and Trump won.

        • As I pointed out twice, your answers are wrong. Deal with it. 🙂

          As for alternative names, yet more lame excuses from you when confronted with the utter idiocy of your posts. I do like how you presume to know what my other names are. Truly the sign of a diseased and paranoid mind.

        • Any other names in that diseased mind of yours?

          Or maybe you can address the topic at hand instead of changing the topic… oh wait, you can’t, because you have nothing logical to say, just a stream of senile ranting. 🙂

        • The fact is that, troll or not, @Moredeadsoldiers is correct that the ‘War on Drugs’ is an illegal government agenda! The Constitution does not allow for government to PROHIBIT anything! Problem is that too many Americans refuse to fight government when these bogus laws are created which has lead to restrictions on everything we do and violations of our God-given rights! Prohibition of alcohol created the same scenario of “illegal” manufacture, possession, sale, and use as well as increased crime and caused many otherwise lawful citizens to be incarcerated for bogus “crimes”. It would be no different if the government banned guns – most “legal” gun owners would become criminals overnight, and a healthy black-market would explode. “Legal” law abiding gun owners would begin filling prisons for simply possessing, just as for possessing drugs. As a conservative and Christian veteran, It is annoying to hear you fools fight against government for one right while condoning government restrictions on others.
          And by the way, “pot” has NEVER killed a single individual on the planet due to its use – look it up! And further research would tell you that the whole prohibition on “pot” was created by lobbying from big pharma, and the cotton and timber industries. Why? Because big pharma wanted to synthesize the components of cannabis (which they have never been able to do) and with cannabis being restricted only big pharma would be allowed to profit from those drugs; because hemp (industrial cannabis) produces better paper products and better, longer-lasting clothing which could undermine much of the profits of timber pulp and cotton. It has also been shown that cannabis cures most forms of cancer which would also affect the multi-billion $$$$ cancer industry!

        • But for police state asset forfeiture scams to profiteer their totalitarian Drug War proliferation…it was the ‘Gold Rush’!

    • > I’m not [a habitual criminal]

      Actually you are. I guarantee you broke the law today, as did everyone else here.

      • EX-Coloradoan, HAH! You beat me too it! All these holier-than-thou moral authoritarians who relish in their self-ordained capacity to say such igno-imbecilic things like ‘Who should not be allowed to have guns, and ‘They were ACTing like Criminals, and Because they actually committed a crime in their lives, should never be allowed their Natural born uninfringeable rights again in their lives…

        If you want to extrapolate on their cognitive perversions. And they’re also too abjectly moronic to grasp the reality behind their suck-ass status quo sycophancy that they are then a part of the totalitarian agenda to sooner, rather than later, make enough Constitutionally illegal laws to eventually everyone some kind of criminal…in order to passively disarm the citizenry. So sooner or later, if we don’t get the gun laws repealed, nullified, or declared unconstitutional, They’ll be saying that almost all of us ‘shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun’. by Fiat decree!

        Like they just did in Venezuela, in case you anybody doesn’t think it could really happen in modern times.

    • Very simple. It affirms that the mere sight of a citizen carrying a firearm cannot be assumed to be an illegal act. To reach that assumption, and the associated actions allowed with it, the LEO must have a Reasonable Articulable Suspicion that you have, are about to, or are in the process of committing a crime.

      So assuming that as a law-abiding gun-carrier, you are not committing a crime, this ruling confirms that the LEOs cannot harass you just because they see you are carrying a gun.

    • Nobody knew he was an habitual criminal and prohibited possessor until after the fact officers having violated his rights. The issue here isn’t that he was guilty, anyway. The issue here is that they violated his rights from the start. That can happen to anyone, regardless of their underlying or eventual guilt.

    • Because when the cops ILLEGALLY entered his house and ILLEGALLY searched his house they didn’t know he was prohibited from possessing fire arm yet. That could have just as easily been a person in legal possession of a fire arm. Thats how it helps you.

    • Well, naturally. That’s why a Cook County court found in his favor. If he had been a legal gun carrier they would have found a way to screw him.

      Of course a legal gun owner probably wouldn’t flee at the sight of the po-po pulling up, so…

      • Believe it or not, I’ve entered my house many many times. Probably once or twice when a cop was driving down my street. Thank God, cops here believe in due process and didn’t use some retarded, flimsy-ass excuse to get other cops to break into my home and look for things I might have been doing wrong.

    • It protects your right to unreasonable searches and seizures, as guaranteed by the Constitution. Just because a police officer thinks you have a gun does not give him a right to search you or your vehicle/home/business,. because, unlike a recent decision of the Fourth Circuit, the mere possession of a firearm is not proof that a crime has been or is being committed. Simply because you are a lawful gun owner does not mean that you should be subject to a search and possible arrest in order to establish whether you are in fact a lawful gun owner. I am reminded of an incident a year or two back where a resident of Florida was (pretextually) stopped by a Maryland police officer (Port Authority, I think) because (a) he had out of state plates, and (b) the officer had run those plates and had discovered that the driver was a Florida CCW holder. The purpose of the search was to locate the “illegal” gun. The driver’s van was stopped and emptied by responding police (who found no gun because it was back in Florida) in front of his wife and children, and the family was detained for over an hour.

      So THAT is why this case is important.

      • You’re spreading BS all over the place.
        1) There is no national system for telling if someone is a CCW holder. That was a assumption made by the dude that had no evidence behind it at all.
        2) He was stopped for speeding. Which is perfectly normal on that particular highway.
        3) The reason the police thought he had a gun in the car was because HIS WIFE TOLD THEM HE DID.

        • Mark N. is a heck of a lot closer to reality. It was John Filippidis of Florida. Discussed here: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/01/robert-farago/are-md-cops-targeting-out-of-state-gun-owners-for-traffic-stop-searches/

          Now that the feds are building out FirstNet this will be a regular occurrence. So great when FINALLY the popo are able to integrate car cams, license plate scanners, bodycams with real time HD quality in a system all tied into the national drivers license photo/data and various other fed/state/local database (such as the illegal Fl CCW list).

        • Uh, nope. I’m pretty sure I would know a lot better than him whether MD\DE NCIC searches reveal out-of-state firearms carry permits. Spoiler alert: they don’t! There is no such federal system.

          Another spoiler: Even if they did, and if cops pulled people based on that, every other car from PA crossing through Delaware and MD would be getting pulled over. Now, the fact that he had FL plates might have made the cop more likely to pull him over because a lot of drugs get moved on I-95 from Florida up North.

          And by the way, posting another blog link from here is kinda funny. That post just regurgitates the same BS which is the guy just saying he must have been stopped because of his out-of-state permit while providing exactly ZERO evidence (and the post leaves out a lot of context that you can by clicking through to the actual articles).

          He got stopped for speeding, like 30 other cars that day. The cop saw he had a carry permit when the guy was getting out hist license. He got searched because when the cop asked if there were weapons in the car- an extremely common interrogative- the WIFE said she thought he had a gun in the car (nice job, honey!). One of the articles (but not the other) also mentioned the smell of marijuana, which is also pretty common nowadays but at the time was still illegal in MD.

          So, no, he’s no closer to reality… which you can find by reading past blog post headlines.

      • Still not seeing it all. Like I said earlier, he was ACTING like a criminal. While that’s not enough to search his house, in some cases, it’s enough to stop and talk to the person and at least ID him.

        That being said, once he entered his house, the police needed more than just ‘he was acting like he did something bad’ to enter because having metallic objects and bulges in your own home isn’t against the law (stop snickering you pervs). So, as stated by others in this thread, this doesn’t help you as a gun owner/carrier any farther that it holds the 4th Amendment up as the shield it was intended to be. The fact the guy was a restricted person is ‘fruit of the poisonous tree’ as also stated above.

        It does re-enforce the idea that if you’re carrying a gun and the police roll up, act like what you are: a person not breaking the law. The police will generally not even notice you because you’re acting like a normal person.

        Just sayin.

        • This case holds that if the police suspect you are carrying a gun, that is not reason to detain or search you. The second sentence of the article states: “Maybe that’s because, as As GOA chief Larry Pratt suggested, existing federal law and precedent seems to allow police responding to a ‘man with a gun’ call to ‘treat every law-abiding gun owner like a criminal . . . grabbing him, twisting his arm behind his back, slamming him down on the ground, and handcuffing him.'”

          If I were to grab you, twist you arm behind your back, slam you down on the ground, and handcuff you, I would be guilty of assault and kidnapping. So, doing so is assault and kidnapping. Without this ruling, the police can do that to anyone they suspect of having a gun. They don’t have to be “ACTING like a criminal.” If the cops had some articulable facts showing that he was “ACTING like a criminal,” then the court may have upheld the conviction.

          Almost universally, in my interactions with cops, the cops have been polite and professional to me. Where I grew up, it was a real officer friendly situation. But I have seen plenty of instances where that is not the case. When I went to law school in a major American city, I came across a cop investigating a “shots fired” call. It was fire crackers and I knew who was doing it. They’d been doing it for a few days. I told the cop it was firecrackers. He didn’t even give me the chance to tell him who was doing it. He basically accused me of doing it. I walked away. After that, I decided it would be best to avoid cops in that city.

          Walking away from police isn’t “ACTING like a criminal.” It is often a sign that the police have a bad relationship with their community. It’s often the police’s fault.

    • If the poe lease can stop a person for no other reason than a cop SUSPECTS you have a gun, then law abiding gun owners are going to be subject to what amounts to harassment. Picture if you got pulled over every time you passed a cop in your car just to prove you had the proper license.

      It doesn’t even matter if you have a gun. If a cop can say “Looks like that guy MIGHT have a gun. He’s not doing anything else wrong. Seems like a good reason to stop him”.

      • Flight from the police, in and of itself, is not sufficient to detain. Flight from the police PLUS another element- like carrying a concealed weapon- easily reaches reasonable suspicion for almost any judge that isn’t trying to set as many gangbangers free in Chicago as possible.

        • Flight? Come on. Guy turned around and went back into his house from his front porch. That’s akin to turning down a side road if you see an oncoming cop being sufficient to get pulled over. If that’s your definition of “due process”, then may you never ever become a police officer or a judge.

          “I thought he had a gun and I thought he MIGHT not have a valid permit and THEN he went in his house. That’s sufficient probable cause right?”

          “I saw the was driving and thought he MIGHT not have a valid license and THEN he turned down a side street. So I called for backup and searched his car.”

        • Ah, I can see, possibly, a concealed weapon.

          But the officer did NOT see a concealed weapon. He saw a metallic object- so was it the gun, gold chain, large ring, belt buckle (I think you see where I’m going here) that made leaving his yard to entering his house suspicious?

          I’m much more pro-cop than many on here, but this was classic lazy/sketchy/overreach police work.

        • Timothy,

          First, I’ll just say that I totally understand the decision to suppress based on the entry. But I’m going to play devil’s advocate because I do think the detainment minus the entry would have been okay.

          First, this case has nothing to do with your example of turning down a street, because carrying a gun illegally is a criminal offense and not a traffic offense. There are huge evidentiary differences between the these two types of offenses and suffice it to say that it’s useless to talk about them as if they’re the same (not to mention the fact that ‘well he might not have a license’ is not the same statement as ‘well I see what looks like a gun under his shirt’)

          Now, you brought up the question of whether his actions constituted ‘flight.’ It’s hard to know from here- this would probably be a judgement call based on testimony rather than a few sentences of synopsis. But honestly, the question of whether his entering the house was specifically ‘flight’ is also not important to the first part of this mess: whether there was sufficient evidence to detain. If you know about Terry stops, you might remember that it requires a fairly low bar of evidence, ‘reasonable suspicion’ to conduct one- not probable cause, as you seem to think. Seeing an object you believe to be a gun PLUS evasion of the police- even if not via sprinting- is generally enough to suffice to briefly detain someone and investigate the crime (and frisk them). In fact, this sort of behavior is similar (though not identical) to the evidence used in the titular case of Terry v. Ohio where no gun was seen but the behavior of the suspects was enough to make the officer believe they were up to no good.

          In Illinois v. Wardlow there were a similar set of facts as this case and the Illinois appeals court again tried to set a drug dealer free (it’s what they do) based on the idea that his evasion did not constitute reasonable suspicion. SCOTUS reversed their faulty understanding of evidence and established (again) that, yes, evading the police can be one element of reasonable suspicion. Now in this case the Illinois court, in their zeal to set criminals free, is relying on the State Constitution. The IL state Constitution is essentially identical to the Federal Constitution on the point of searches so basically this is the state making an end-run around the Supreme Court’s previous decision because Chicago doesn’t have enough homicides this year.

          But even if the officers had the legal authority to detain the man and frisk him, things get hairy when you talk about the exigency of entering the residence. Because then you’re entering someone’s home (not HIS home, as it turns out) based on reasonable suspicion. Not a great place to be in, and to do so you have to depend on a set number of reasons, one of them being ‘flight from pursuit’. So here is where we would have to decide if the guy was fleeing the police (or, rather, that they would reasonably believe that), and I think there would be a number of problems establishing it.

          Vanbulance,
          I tend to agree, particularly with respect to the entry- or at least I could go either way, depending on the actual testimony. It’s one of those incidents where I can put myself in their shoes, though. A decision made within a couple of seconds under pressure that the courts argue over for months or years sitting on upholstered chairs.

    • Because they did not know, at the time they entered the house, that he was a habitual criminal. They only discovered that after the fact. If they can barge into someone’s house on the bare grounds that someone inside has a gun, they can do so even if that person turns out not to be doing anything wrong.

  3. ” It also permits officers to trample upon our rights to property and self-defense.”

    I must admit I’m surprised he acknowledged a constitutional right to self-defense.

    It’s just guns he doesn’t like. Because they kill.

    I can easily foresee a future where someone invents a directed energy device that knocks someone out cold for 30 seconds and has no lasting bad effects. Let’s just give it a name and call it a ‘Phasor’.

    Liberals will be ecstatic. Crime levels will *skyrocket*.

    All a crook will need to rob you or a rapist to bind you up and rape you will be the ability to sneak up behind you and ‘Phasor’ you…

  4. Bottom line here is, if what they did to Horton (entering and searching his home) was lawful, they they could do it to you, or me.

    Now, if one of the cops said they recognized him and knew he was a prohibited person, it might be different. Maybe.

    What’s ironic, is that it takes a stupid felon doing something stupid (standing on his front porch visibly armed) to produce a case that solidifies the rights of the law-abiding gun owner.

    So be it.

  5. If the profit is taken out of drug sales, the drugs would not be as available in many areas and it would stop most of the violence because the violence is over the huge profits.

    The way this was written, it seems like the po po wanted a reason to enter the house, whether or not he was packing on the porch. Even if he were, that was his porch. They may feel they have the right to hunt down anyone with a gun, they do not, even in Chicago.

  6. our rights to property and self-defense. These are constitutional values, not partisan ones.

    Holy cow. I’m pretty sure around Slate’s offices, talk like that would get you branded as a card-carrying Alt-Right Fascist Shitlord. Private property? Self- defense? I’m speechless.

  7. Me skimming through the article as fast as possible:

    “Please be Jersey please be Jersey please be Jersey please be Jersey please be Jersey F*CK!!!”

    • Think about this for a moment. This is Ill. A few short years ago we were certain that shall issue would never come to Ill. Now this court ruling.

      For those of us in places like NJ and CA this shows that great things can happen.

  8. The cops “saw” a bulge in his clothing, under which was concealed a “metallic object”, as they were driving past, and everybody, including the judges, just assumes they were telling the truth and not just making the whole thing up (except the part about the subject seeing them and reasonably deciding it was safer to be inside)?

    • The next step will be that Illinois police will *always* see a firearm. That’ll be up next.

      Still the fact that cops can’t go around saying “hey, I have a hunch that guy has a gun,” and expect Illinois courts to back them up is a gain, however small.

      It’s 1st down and we just gained one yard. I’ll take it.

      • In the must read book by Constitutional Attny John Whitehead, ‘Battlefield America, The war on the American people?
        (By the police State) there’s a page with a picture of a police academy classroom with the police instructor pointing to the blackboard with the sentence on it and the caption says, Now let me hear you all say it again..this time with more conviction “I THOUGHT I SAW A GUN IN HIS HAND!”

    • Appellate judges take the facts that the court below gives them. And why not take the cops at their word when you’re going to rule against them anyway? A “if everything you said is true, you still lose” situation is the perfect time to take someone at their word.

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