Image by Cook County Forest Preserves PD.
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For those new to the gun culture, the Land of Lincoln was the last state in the union to enact a concealed carry law. It only happened after the federal courts ruled Illinois’ prohibition on carry was unconstitutional. And even then, facing a looming court deadline, the Illinois General Assembly waited until the last hours of the last day of the court’s deadline to override a stubborn governor’s veto to approve a new carry law.

There are still many in the Land o’ Lincoln who despise the fact that mere citizens are allowed to carry a firearm. After all, it’s not like there’s a need to carry for personal defense in Cook County. Not with 526 homicides in Chicago alone, and another 2226 people shot and maimed so far this year.

Despite a multitude of locations where carry is prohibited — both public and private — the woke gun haters are always trying for more. And now they’re pushing their hoplophobic agenda in the Cook County Forest Preserves.

In Illinois, even some of the “park districts” have their own sworn law enforcement officers. Among those, of course, is Cook (rhymes with ‘Crook’) County, home of Murder City USA, more commonly referred to as “Chicago.”

The Cook County Forest Preserves manages a bevy of properties ranging from campgrounds to golf courses to the Brookfield Zoo.

Originally, all of these locations operated under a blanket ban on carry for good guys. Bad guys? They don’t need a license to carry anywhere they want, of course. After an arrest for carrying in one of these places, an enterprising man named Simon Solomon sued, claiming that the blanket ban on all properties was unconstitutional.

Mr. Solomon won, but the judge stayed his order to give the Illinois General Assembly until March 31st, 2022 to remedy the defect. The General Assembly, being the wise, efficient deliberative body it is, failed to act during the Spring Session, the prohibition is null and void.

Image courtesy Illinois State police

Nevertheless, the Forest Preserves have left the famous Illinois “no guns” signs up, clearly in an attempt to intimidate card-carrying good guys from lawfully packing heat on these public properties.

On their website, as of today, they claim, without any law to back it up, that there’s a ban on firearms by concealed carry licensees.

Screen capture 8:50am September 22, 2022. By Boch.

What’s more, CCPFD police officers and administrators are telling people who ask that they will arrest anyone with a carry license who straps on a gun while camping, golfing or otherwise enjoying those properties.

The very small department and its handful of officers have to know about the outcome of the Solomon case. Heck, the case and the carry prohibition being struck down was featured in the National Recreation and Parks Association journal.

In my capacity as Executive Director of Guns Save Life, I investigated those claims. After a series of phone calls, I was referred to Marvita Lash, the Cook County Forest Preserves Public Information Officer.

Despite two detailed messages last week and a third call this week, she hasn’t returned my requests for comment. Then again, I mentioned the Solomon case in my messages so she knew I knew they don’t have a legal leg to stand on.

Anyway, this behavior by anti-gun political leaders and police administrators isn’t without precedent. Twenty-odd years ago, then-Mayor Richard Daley and the Cook County State’s Attorney threatened law-abiding gun owners if they transported lawfully uncased firearms in the Windy City. “We will put you in jail,” they said.

Most gun owners, especially those with jobs, families, and reputations to uphold wanted no part of becoming a test case. So the bluff by Daley and his prosecutors intimidated most from carrying.

In nearby DuPage County, police arrested a gentleman by the name of John Horstman.  Mr. Horstman had an unloaded, cased handgun with him when police made contact on an unrelated matter. Asked if he had any knives, guns or hand grenades, he admitted to having a FOID card and an unloaded, cased handgun. Which is exactly what Illinois law demands in order to transport a firearm.

They arrested him and took him to jail where he was strip-searched and generally treated like Richard Speck.

Once sprung from jail, he retained counsel. The Dupage County State’s Attorney dropped all charges within a couple of days and Horstman got his GLOCK back. Horstman then filed a federal Section 1983 lawsuit for deprivation of civil rights under the color of authority.

DuPage County couldn’t cut a settlement check quickly enough to make that lawsuit go away. What’s more, Horstman refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Less than three months later he picked up a check for $50,000.

Hopefully Cook County Forest Preserve law enforcement department‘s stated standard operating procedure of making an arrest for lawful carry on their property is just bluffing. However, for $50,000 or more, it might be tempting to challenge them for some adventurous (and courageous) good guy.

Besides, with today’s bodycams, a sympathetic gun owner might be able to add a zero to that total if rogue cops rough him or her up while making a bad arrest over a non-crime.

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  1. As usual, Chicago, as well as other Democrat cities, don’t believe that the courts have any real say over their actions. Only if it is convenient or fits their narrative do they heed the court’s orders and rulings.
    That pesky Constitution is only a guide, right?

    • It is unfortunate cook county does not allow carrying firearms on Forrest preserve lands.

      I’m sure glad that the Obama/Biden administration signed into law a repeal of Ronald Reagan’s ban on carrying guns on millions of acres of national forest lands, let freedom ring!

      “National Parks/National Wildlife Refuges: As of February 22, 2010, Section 512, Credit CARD Act of 2009 (54 USC § 104906 and Title 36 Chpt. 1 Part 2 § 2.4) took effect changing federal law to make park firearm regulations reflect state law. For example, if a state allows open carry and/or concealed carry or loaded/unloaded firearms in vehicles, carrying a firearm or possessing loaded/unloaded firearms in a vehicle is allowed in a National Park in that state.”

      Thanks Obama!

      • MajorStupidity,

        Are you STILL blowing that one-note horn, you pathetic @$$clown???? Cool story, bro – now do Cook County parks, ANYPLACE in NYC, the entire STATE of KKKalifornia. And Senile Joe, the Serial Child-Molester, wants to extend that to the entire country.

        Your partisan propaganda has gone from “laughable” to annoying. YOUR Leftist/fascist cohort and “party” explicitly makes “gun control” and an “assault weapons ban” part of its platform – but you can’t help yourself, you are COMPELLED by your idiot ideology to lie. Go expire in an excavation, MajorStupidity.

        • “you are COMPELLED by your idiot ideology to lie“

          Absolutely nothing in my comment was a lie, it was completely factual and I included a citation from

          Lamprey, what is the nature of your Malfunction? Do you have some neurotic compulsion that prevent you from acknowledging the actual facts of history?

          You call it a ‘OneNote horn’, I call it a restoration of our gun rights on millions of acres of citizen owned American soil.

          Perhaps you’d be kind enough to tell me what substantial legislative action did Donald Trump initiate to expand Americans’ gun rights?

          Don’t bother claiming the SCOTUS justices shoehorned in by Mitch McConnell, that’s nothing to be proud of, a complete violation of the Court’s history and tradition, as well as the Senate’s constitutionally-mandated duty to advise and consent on presidential appointees.

          We’ll get that all fixed as soon enough, by increasing the number of Supreme Court justices. History and tradition shows that the United States Federal appeals court system is based on one Supreme Court justice allotted to supervise each federal circuit. But with the new federal circuits over the past decade, we now have a total of 13, meaning we need additional justices to comport with our judicial history and tradition.

        • I hate to jump into this flame-fest, but in fact Miner-fortywhiner is correct. Obama did repeal ban on carrying firearms in national parks. I remember when I first heard that (obviously years ago). I said, “wow, even Obama can make a good decision from time to time”

      • You forgot to add all of the select fire weapons Obama sent, for free, to the thousands of police and sheriff departments, all over the country. Also the machine gun he sent to the Paris terrorist bombers.

        And don’t forget the grenade launchers and MRAP vehicles with machine gun turrets. He gave away for free as well.

        • …and Operation Fast And Furious.

          …and Operation Arm The Taliban, as run by Obama and Rice via Placeholder Biden.

    • Disarm the police. Issue them nightsticks and the training to use them. There’s no rationale or moral reason for the police to carry firearms. They have proven they are incapable of good judgment and enforcing the law. And would prefer to follow orders and stand down. And allow the innocent to be murdered where they stand. And allow their private property be firebombed at will by criminals.

    • Meh, who is to say one way or another whether that merry band of misfits are glorified “mall cops” or serious operators.

      I can tell you this much, I have experienced three very serious events while camping in campgrounds and such “police” may very well be necessary.

      In one case the people at a campsite were hooting and hollering loudly, VERY LOUDLY, into the wee hours of the morning in violation of clearly stated “quiet hours” rules at the campground. I went to that site and assertively although respectfully and discreetly asked them to simmer down. They immediately threatened great bodily harm to me. And their demeanor on the rest of the camping trip was inline with that threat. That was before I started carrying self-defense firearms and I ended up carrying my camping ax with me most everywhere I went on the remainder of that trip.

      On another trip (to the same campground), a man camping at the campground let his large dog run free. It repeatedly charged aggressively at my spouse and I and persisted in challenging us for upwards of a minute each time, all the while barking and snarling and frequently lunging at us. Since my previous experience of direct confrontation went so poorly, I decided to discreetly notify campground personnel in the hopes that an “anonymous” report and notification from campground personnel would go over better. Somehow the dog owner knew I did it and repeatedly leered at us and flipped us off for the rest of the trip. On at least two occasions he went out on his boat and started shooting at stuff while out on the lake. We seriously considered packing up and leaving early.

      The last event was at a different campground. It was about 2:00 a.m. when a camper started walking around the campground yelling profanities and issuing vague generalized threats which could apply to any/all campers. My family was quite scared. Since I brought my everyday carry handgun on that trip, my family asked me tool up and discreetly stand guard outside our campsite. About 25 minutes later three different police cars from three different (and somewhat distant) jurisdictions arrived and began searching for that belligerent camper.

      So, in my experience, it is entirely sensible to have law enforcement of some variety available and/or on-patrol at parks and campgrounds to “keep the peace”. Of course they have to actually be trying to keep the peace rather than arresting people for legally carrying firearms for self-defense.

      • Haven’t been camping in over 40 years precisely for the BS behavior you experienced. Oh & I got a divorce from that gal. And was muscular & menacing then(no weapons). You can’t win in a public campground…

  2. If I am legally engaged in an activity and you, under color of law and knowing i’m legal arrest me any way doesn’t that make you the criminal?

    • jwm,

      In a constitutionally limited representative republic where, “… all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …,” your statement is spot on.

      Of course this article demonstrates that we are no longer living in said republic. Rather, our original constitutionally limited representative republic has devolved (as all republics inevitably do) into a two-tiered republic with a Ruling Class and a Working Class: the Ruling Class pursues/enforces pretty much anything it desires and the Working Class has no inherent rights nor dignity.

    • Why yes, yes it does. But of course they’re “just doing their job”, no? One wonders if they train saying “schnell!” after asking for your papers, not that those papers are gonna save yer ass anyways, apparently. At least our knights of the realm in shining polyester, the much vaunted Revenue Collecting Mounted Patrol up here (or just horses with two assholes during their ‘musical ride’ 🙄) don’t try such entrapment, they just flat out deny you your most basic, fundamental right you could ever possibly possess because Officer, oops, I mean Public Safety™. Hell, I’m mostly German myself and I don’t appreciate it. I wonder how Jewish Canadians feel about it? Don’t they have a slogan or something…

    • I see those signs and I think the same thing. I think it’s dumb that I have to leave my M9A3 at home but I’ll carry my S&W shield or another gun if that is what I have to. I wouldn’t want to be anything less than a good citizen.

    • I can’t remember the last time I perused a Cook county forest preserve other than driving through them. Scary places where criminals bury bodies. Another reason ILLANNOY sucks so bad is endless layers of gubmint. Federal,regional,state,county,township and city. Happily run by thieves & lowlife scum.

      • My school when I was a wee one used to have a picnic each year in Harms Woods. The last time I was there that I remember was when my mother came to check on me as I was leaning up against a tree in the shade. Turns out I had broken out with German measles.

  3. You know, in the this day and age, I think I could make a living by catching a fade from some corrupt PD like this and seeking a lawsuit. Overzealous anti gun PDs should be concerned that they have literally no support. Being anti gun wackos makes them enemies of the right and being police makes them enemies of the left.

    • “…in the this day and age, I think I could make a living by catching a fade from some corrupt PD like this and seeking a lawsuit.”

      Preach it. Boch or FWW (or other retired person) really ought to consider doing just that, and make a business of it. Of course, they might want to team up with a lawyer who wants the case and is willing to cut them a deal on the legal services cost.

      50K was a nice payout, but what percent did Perry Mason take as his cut?

      If they figure out a way to make themselves known well enough to city hall, just a mention that “the nutty gun-rights guy just filed another lawsuit” may motivate them to settle even quicker… 🙂

  4. Does this mean the residents of Chicago are too high, drunk, reckless and stupid to be trusted? That was the reasoning for opposing campus carry, right?

    We should just have government and a select body of elite individuals determine case by case who actually can be trusted. A the very least we’d know exactly who we’d have to bribe.

    • Way up north we are charged an $85 bribe, I mean Administrative Fee™, to apply for a carry license (so $20us) and it’s returned stamped NO a year or two later. And no refund. It’s prob their holster/gun belt slush fund, oh, wait, we tithe paying serfs supply those for them! And their guns! Silly me.

      • Sorry to hear that Rider/Shooter.

        By the way how do you make the little superscript trademark symbol appear in your comments?

        • Uncommon, this BlackBerry has a few diff character fields to select and in one is a ™ symbol. And thanks for the condolences.

        • On my laptop, all I do is type this ( , then tm , and close it with ) …

      • “…we tithe paying serfs supply those…”

        …plus the red “NO” stampers from Quill. Don’t gripe about cost saving measures, or they’ll order forms that come pre-stamped from the printer, that’ll learn you.

        • Given the 100% rate of denial, the “no soup for you” stamp may very well be pre-stamped already. It might as well be. Waiting 2 months now for my “transfer” to go through on my latest (and possibly last by royal decree) handgun purchase. Ain’t Freedom grand?

  5. These clowns will probably end up as gunfight participants in which they won’t prevail. I see several Darwin Award finalists.

  6. Carry anyway. Out of sight, out of mind. They are usually alone and would have to strip search you to find your gat, so would they really do so, particularly if you are with a buddy or three? No, they would not.

  7. Seems like another police department needs to be de-funded.

    Illinois is careening toward bankruptcy. Pension under-funding is a nuclear bomb with a detonator set to trigger by Big-Ben alarm clock, ticking away.

  8. So if you carry in one of their parks, the Forest Cops will arrest you, take your gun, and shoot Toto too?

    No wonder everybody loves cops.

  9. settlements must include admissions of guilt to at least misunderstanding the law, and written essays approved by the complainant that expound in the right to arms as the law which superior to state laws or local ordnances.

  10. Thank God I left that cesspool years ago. The hell with “Crook” County and their draconian laws. Seems to me they are promoting “guns free zones”, and we all know how those work…. They work GREAT for criminals.

    Thank God I live in a free state that encourages carry and promotes the 2A.

  11. Don’t worry, I’ve been repeatedly assured that police “won’t enforce unconstitutional laws” so this is a complete non issue /sarc

    Given how happily they act as government enforcers irrespective of written law, is it any wonder that even many of those who have historically supported cops are turning against them?

    • Imagine such a thing, heavily armed, well renumerated organizations stripping you of your most fundamental human right (at gunpoint, with a gun you helped provide with your forced tax dollars) after swearing an oath not to do just that. All on the say so of an even more well renumerated group of people who took that very same oath, with both groups enjoying self declared Qualified Immunity™. Doesn’t seem right somehow… (gun cleaning intensifies)

  12. The Midwest in general is a horrible place to live and Illinois is the worst. Going back next month for 6 days, not looking forward to it. At least I’m not landing in Chicago in January. I pay extra just to avoid going through the Chicago hub if flights are available.

  13. I avoid Illinois in general and Chicago in particular. When I absolutely have to sully myself, I drive straight through and don’t spend money or even stop. Its like going to Berlin during the cold war.

  14. But with the new no bail law and no punishment who cares? In fact as long as someone doesn’t plan to kill one of these and does it “spontaneously” then no bail your free.
    IF and only IF it’s even investigated which doesn’t seem to be a priority.
    And of course if your the common denominator then all the better.
    Illinois the new Kalifornia

    • Law abiding citizens would rather avoid legal entanglements and having a record. Career criminals don’t care.

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