Rena's gun and the evidence box where it had been stored (Image by Boch)
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Last month, we wrote about how the Springfield, IL Police Department confiscated a capital city woman’s gun after she called police for a prowler. Her Firearms Owner ID card had expired a couple of months earlier and she didn’t realize it.

Rena Rojas, a senior citizen and disabled veteran, lives by herself in the not-so-nice part of the Land of Lincoln’s capital city. When the police took her Smith & Wesson Shield EZ .380 from her that day, they also took her peace-of-mind. For months now, her inability to sleep well has only exacerbated some health issues.

She applied for a new FOID card and ran into bureaucrats who didn’t have the time or the inclination to return her messages asking for the gun’s return for weeks and weeks.

Image by Boch.

Fast forward…she called Guns Save Life asking for help. The State’s Attorney’s office staff didn’t seem very eager to help us intercede on Ms. Rojas’ behalf. Surprise! The State’s Attorney’s staff ignored my first email for over a week.

I even warned them what would happen in my emails.

At first blush, Ms. Rojas case certainly has a rich potential for mass appeal as a story of the government making matters worse for a little person.  A single, female senior citizen – a veteran who served her country at that – living in a not-so-great part of town who calls police to a prowler.  The police come, check out the prowler call, then take her only effective means of self-defense before they go.
If this case is as it seems – and I’ll freely admit I’ve only got her half of the story but she does seem very credible – this seems like a no-brainer for you and your office to make this potential embarrassment go away by returning her gun.  

I sent a second email directly to State’s Attorney Dan Wright’s email address that I obtained from unrelated court filings. I urged him to do the right thing and return this woman’s gun and her peace-of-mind. Again, I got no response for two hours shy of two business days.

That all changed in less than two hours after the initial story appeared at The Truth About Guns.

Dan Wright, the prosecutor himself, reached out to her in a phone call. He didn’t apologize for failing to return her calls or act sooner, but he said he would “cut through the red tape” in the “complicated” process to get her gun back to her.

True to his word, a few days later, she received another phone call telling her she could come get her gun after lunch on a Friday.

At Guns Save Life, our members heard the story and it led to an outpouring of support. Our members made some donations for Rena, including a 20-gauge pump shotgun, buckshot and some slugs, .380 defensive ammo, and a membership to Guns Save Life. A retired professor who’s also a GSL member and who taught at the US Army War College donated some pepper spray and “Army Strong” stickers for his newest Army vet friend.

Rena Rojas at Guns Save Life (image by Boch)

Ms. Rojas joined us at the local Guns Save Life meeting the following Monday. Nearly 130 people were there to meet her and hear her story first-hand. What’s more, she had no idea the collection of defensive tools that we’d accumulated to present to her.

People offered everything from well-wishes to one-on-one coaching from some of GSL’s instructors at a later date.

Rena Rojas (Image by Boch)

She’s now well-equipped in case Mr. Prowler decides to return.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure after what happened with her last call to 911 for a prowler that she’ll ever call the police again unless it’s for a dead perp in her kitchen.

Image by Boch.

I also presented her a one-year subscription to the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.  Why? So Rena would have the best legal defense money could buy if she has to defend herself in the future.

During her time speaking, she nearly broke down with emotion at the outpouring of support she experienced by a lot of people she had never met before. Over and over she thanked everyone from the bottom of her heart. “I thanked the officers that came out that day, too. But unlike them, you’re adding to my peace of mind instead of taking it away.”

When I called her the following day, she became emotional, saying she was still struggling to process the experience. “You people are the greatest. You didn’t even know me and you helped me more than you can imagine. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Meanwhile the Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright sent me an email excoriating me for, he said, not getting the whole story correct and misstating the timeline. Regarding the timeline, he was correct. I didn’t verify the dates the emails were sent before writing the story. That was my mistake.

That doesn’t change the fact that no one from his office returned Rena’s calls over the many weeks before we got involved. It doesn’t change the fact that he and his office failed to respond to my emails for over a week in the case of the first email and almost two business days for the email I sent to Wright’s direct email.

Sadly, since all this happened, Rena’s spent a number of days in and out of the hospital with her health issues. We’re sending prayers and well wishes for her recovery and look forward to her returning.

Even though I won’t be getting any Christmas cards from State’s Attorney Wright, it still felt good being able to help a good person get a positive outcome from government bureaucracy.

And helping veterans in need, especially disabled veterans, is always a good thing.

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    • Correct

      Also, the Illinois law requiring a FOID card is an illegal abomination! The right to keep and bear arms is a basic human right. It is granted us by our Creator. Governments may not infringe upon this right. Requiring a FOID is an infringement.

      • Registering the owner instead of the gunm.
        If I lived in Illinois I wouldn’t like the FOID.
        Yes it definitely is an infringement, if you believe there is such a thing as a working constitution.

  1. Says a whole lot about the police who confiscated a Constitutional Right especially under the circumstances. Gun Control starts with such Confiscations and ends up along the Iines of what happened to the few armed Jews in nazi germany.

    It’s what’s expected when FOID is a product of Gun Control and Gun Control is rooted in racism and genocide.

  2. She’s now well-equipped in case Mr. Prowler decides to return. Unfortunately, I’m not sure after what happened with her last call to 911 for a prowler that she’ll ever call the police again unless it’s for a dead perp in her kitchen.

    You expose yourself to potential civil and criminal jeopardy when police visit your home–even if YOU asked them to come to your home and even if YOU are a “good guy” or “good gal”. Of course how much risk you face depends on several factors, several of which may be near impossible to quantify.

    Remember, the only fight that you are guaranteed to win is the fight which never happens. If you are well prepared to handle prowlers and home-invaders yourself, you significantly reduce the risk of having to call police which significantly reduces your risk of civil and criminal jeopardy. Plan accordingly.

  3. 100% bet that the popo’s dispatch software used in Illinoistan flags the address of ever gun owner (using the BS FOID info). EXACTLY the same address misuse as used in Berlin 1938/39.

    • Sadly you’re probably correct. Every license plate number in Illinois that is connected to an Illinois concealed carry permit holder will alert any LEO that “runs” a plate number before/during a traffic stop. That officer will know that there is a good possibility of a firearm before he even exits his/her vehicle.

  4. I always enjoyed returning a firearm to a citizen. Especially if it were a case I had worked where the firearm had been stolen. Sometimes though, if the firearm had been used in a subsequent crime, it could be held for evidence. That could be a hard pill for some owners to swallow. Even if it meant convicting the guy that stole his gun.

  5. I emailed Dan Weight after the story was posted here. He said he was hoping ttag, or whomever posted the initial story, would post his rebuttal, that the facts were all wrong.

    He sent me a copy of the rebuttal but being short on time i never actually read it.

  6. I googled, and binged, GSL neither one recognized Gun Saves Lives. I had to type in the exact title to get any recognition.

    • Wow!


      “I Googled and Bing’d everything except the correct search terms so that means something significant but I don’t know what that is but I need to rush to the internet and comment on this to let TTAG readers know this ’cause its significant or something.”

      Using his exact search term, “Gun Saves Lives”, on Bing the very first this that came up for me was a link to “ – We Defend Your Right to Defend …” > on Bing

      I didn’t bother with Google ’cause I suspect, well, you know, something significant like a link to somewhere in the search results.

      • “It’s the algorithm. Yeah that’s the ticket.”

        I noticed google running cover for Hillary in 2016 with their algorithm. They use their predictive text to direct you how they want to despite their own google trends showing that isn’t what people are looking for. I haven’t used their search since then. Don’t use their “free” email either.

    • Well it seems that alternative media like TTAG, are far more powerful, than the gun grabbers could have possibly imagined.

      As I have said before this web site is “monitored”.

      Great work guys. And support alternative media.

  7. Good on the happy ending.

    I think they wanted this one to go away, she was “well qualified” for a plaintiff in a civil rights law suit.

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