Image via Facebook. (Springfield, IL PD)
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“We’re from the government and we’re here to help.” Those words should strike fear into the heart of any American. Too often government “protects and serves” the little people – good and hard – making any situation worse.

Imagine you’re a senior citizen living as a single woman in a not-so-great neighborhood in Illinois’ capital city. You’re in the bathroom and you hear what sounds like someone trying to break out a kitchen window to gain entry. You holler for the would-be intruder to go away and call 911.

Image via Twitter. (Springfield, IL PD)

You’re grateful when police show up after just a few minutes. They look around and find no evidence of the potential home intruder. After chatting with the somewhat helpful officers for a few minutes, they ask if you’ve got a gun. You answer in the affirmative, thinking you’ve got nothing to hide. After all, you’re familiar with firearms from your time serving your nation in the armed forces in your youth.

The only problem is your FOID card expired recently and you didn’t know it. The cops then take your Smith & Wesson pistol, a loaded magazine, and your holster. “Get your FOID renewed and then you can come get it back,” they tell you

How many of these confiscated firearms were taken from FOID holders whose FOID recently expired? Image via Facebook (Springfield, IL PD).

Fast forward a few of months. Rena Rojas now has a freshly-printed and valid Firearms Owner ID card, so she calls the Springfield PD to arrange to pick up her gun. The “public servants” at the local cop shop give her the runaround and tell her to call the State’s Attorney’s office.

She does, and at first she couldn’t even get anyone to talk with her about the case. Finally, after a few calls, she gets an office assistant who takes a message for Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright.

He doesn’t call back.

He’s probably a busy guy.

Image via Facebook (Dan Wright).

So Ms. Rojas lathers, rinses and repeats. Over and over again. Over the course of a couple of months or more, she leaves message after message. The best thing she hears is that approval to release the gun “is on his desk,” referring to Mr. Wright.

Then she called Guns Save Life pleading for help.

Right away, our leadership was appalled. Welcome to government at its finest. Call the police for a prowler and they take your gun (and your peace of mind) with them when they go. Then they won’t give it back because you’re a little person with virtually no recourse from government agents.

I wrote to the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s office almost two weeks ago on February 22nd to prompt them to do the right thing and return the woman’s firearm and her peace of mind.

Greetings Mr. Wright & Sangamon County SA staff:

My name is John Boch and I’m the Executive Director of Guns Save Life.  
Recently we were contacted by a Rena Rojas (DOB XX-XX 61) about a Smith & Wesson pistol seized last year by Springfield PD after she called to a prowler call.
I believe the file number was S22-85922.
We’ve taken an interest in this case.
She acknowledged to me that she didn’t realize at the time that her FOID was expired.  She tells me that she now has a valid FOID card.
Supposedly the return of her firearm is being delayed, awaiting Mr. Wright’s action on the case.  
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.  
Heck, a few keystrokes and you could determine if she indeed does have a valid FOID card and if so, real customer service would be to have an officer deliver her firearm, magazines and holster in a box to her.  They took it.  They should return it.  A bow on top might be a little over the top, but you get the idea.  
I’ve got plenty of work dealing with legal challenges to the new Illinois Firearms Ban Act and other things, so this story could fall off my desk (or simply get lost) pretty easily if Ms. Rojas got her gun back soon.
Of course, you could charge her for the expired FOID but that would guarantee we would go public on it and try this in the court of public opinion both locally and nationally…
Thanks in advance for your attention to this.  Let’s give this woman back her peace of mind…
John Boch

Nobody from the State’s Attorney’s office or the Springfield police has contacted Ms. Rojas.  Or returned our email.

Clearly they don’t have the time to make things right for an average person…a veteran living by herself in a not-so-great part of Springfield.

But rest assured Mr. Wright has plenty of time to pose for selfies with folks like celebrity attorney Ben Crump.

Image via Facebook (Dan Wright)

I found Mr. Wright’s direct email address from some other court filings and emailed him asking for comment. He hasn’t responded for 72+ hours (almost two business days) now.

Here’s the potential happy ending to this story. If Rena Rojas doesn’t have her pistol back by next Monday evening, she’ll have a new gun and her peace of mind restored, courtesy of some of our GSL members.

Who knows? Maybe Mr. Wright will soon have an opportunity to explain to a judge why this woman shouldn’t have her property returned to her.

UPDATE:  Sangamon County States Attorney Dan Wright called Ms. Rojas within about two hours of the TTAG story going live.  After she got off the phone with him, she called me to relate that Mr. Wright had indeed finally reached out to her.  Furthermore, according to her, he explained that it was a complicated process to return her firearm but that he would work to make it happen as quickly as possible.

In a separate communication with me, he raked me over the coals.  He asserted that my story was “replete with misstatements and misinformation lacking basic due diligence to get the facts correct when writing about such an important issue.”  To which I replied I wrote the story as I had it, and at the time I had not heard any response from either of my earlier emails requesting comment or follow-up.

We’ll have more in the coming days after Ms. Rojas receives her gun from the authorities.

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    • You mean the part where she actually told them she had a gun, instead of answering only the cops’ questions that specifically and directly pertained to her call to report a possible intruder?

      As the saying goes, “don’t talk yourself into handcuffs”.

        • Never trust a cop.
          Affirmative Action.
          Over 100,000 Americans DIE from drug poisoning and the biden/democrats laugh…………. some 9000 Americans DIE because of armed criminals……………. AND THE DAMNED DEMOCRATS WANT TO DISARM 200MILLION LAWFUL AMERICANS.
          ================= SICK FJB.

      • Better yet, just don’t talk to police. Unfortunately, your odds anymore seem 50/50 that YOU will end up being victimized by them.

    • I emailed Dan Wright at the posted address, he replied, and said this story is not accurate. He is asking for his response to be posted. Maybe stay tuned?

      • “He is asking for his response to be posted. Maybe stay tuned?“

        Don’t hold your breath.

        The problem is that the ‘rest of the story’ may interfere with the narrative.

    • Dan wright has since replied and sent me a long rebuttal. Hopefully he can get it to TTAG.

      Im actually at work and havent had time to read it really

  1. Call the cops, they steal whatever the prowler missed. Sounds about right. Just like all of us poor benighted souls subject to the king, here in England. Call the cops, get summoned. Don’t call the cops, get summoned. The cops even put cameras in our homes, to find petty reasons to charge us with crimes.

    • That may be the way things are done in the UK, but not here. We put bad cops in prison.

      • Weeeeelllllll…..

        Kinda. Sometimes. Not really actually… it’s pretty awful.

    • @albert – “cops put cameras in our homes”

      Actually *inside* your home? Yeesh, welcome to Surveillance Planet.

      • @Albert
        Along with a box of tinfoil, it hasn’t gotten that bad yet.
        The tinfoil will protect you from the cameras and 5G.

  2. Didn’t a court declare the FOID ‘scheme’ to be unconstitutional not long ago?

    • That was my question here on TTAG not too long ago, and the response (from you, actually, was it not?) was that the judge’s ruling was limited to only the Plaintiff in that specific case. It was not applicable to all Illinoisans. Because they’re not handcuffed by the same FOID policy, I suppose, or some magical elven logic to that effect?

      • I don’t recall that conversation, but it may have happened… ?

        Let’s go, POTG in Illinois, start filing those lawsuits…

        • EDIT – Thanks, GSL, for arranging a replacement for her…

      • As of right now, the FOID is still in use. GSL has a lawsuit in process that I believe should get a ruling within the next month or two.

  3. So she called the police and they sent thieves to her house… Doesn’t make you want to call the police if they are going to nose around, investigating YOU for violations.

  4. So the patrol cops scored a gun on the call for service but did nothing to protect the public or Rena Rojas.

    SPD just provided Ms. Rojas or any other citizen with ample reason never to call them again.

    • They may not have it to return – just added to one of ’ems off the books collection.

  5. C’mon man…… KNOW why they do this sh*t , cuz they don’t answer to ANYBODY! And being a good public servant these days, we can all assume his agenda isn’t quite the same as ours!

  6. This is right in my back yard. Hell I used to live in Springfield. And they want decent people to apply to be would-be tyrants for their f-ed up department? Christ, the woman had a FOID card… not that you should need one. It expired. She’s a veteran. Living by herself? Total assholes making her a defenseless victim. Total assholes. And they wonder why people don’t like the pole-eese.

  7. mr. wright is mr. wrong for the job. Documented refusals to return property contrary to what she was told by the police proves her rights have been violated. She may not have her firearm back however she has lawsuit level evidence against FOID, wright et al.

    • She should file a Civil Rights Violation criminal complaint against the officer and Mr. Wright. I imagine the NRA ( Not Really Any good) will get right on it.

        • The NRA runs from stuff like this, that’s why you need groups who actually do something like GSL, they seem to be on it.
          The NRA will pay for how many rounds of ammo she lost.
          Here’s a check for $20 but don’t cash it until next month.
          Instead of money, how would like a 1 year membership in the NRA?

        • Dave, The NRA does not have any horse in this race. This is a single person having a problem with the local PD. This is a matter for the District Attorney or the FBI (Official Misconduct by a government official under the guise of authority). This matter does not affect the broader issue on a regional or state or nation wide basis.
          Where do you get this “The NRA will pay for how many rounds of ammo she lost. Here’s a check for $20 but don’t cash it until next month.” It sounds like you are trying to denigrate the NRA based on your perceptions of what YOU think they should be doing
          Instead of money, how would like a 1 year membership in the NRA?

        • JRM, if you want to call the NRA a “civil rights” group, that is on you. The NRA is a single issue “civil rights” groups and do not take in rights other than those of the 2nd Amendment. You can try to include illegal confiscation if you want but it is the main thrust of their organization. If the NRA went to bat for every person who had their gun confiscated or illegally retained by police, they would not have money to do anything else.

        • So illegally taking a persons gun is not a 2nd Amendment issue is what you are saying. The police violated this woman’s 2nd Amendment rights and that’s not a NRA issue? Can you explain exactly what the NRA actually does then? They say their first mission is protecting the Second Amendment but clearly in this case they didn’t care.

        • Josh. do you REALY(?) expect the NRA to jump into every confiscation case? As I said, if they did, they would no no money left for anything else. Yes, the NRA’s mission is to protect the 2nd A, but you have to choose your battles based on the issue and$$$ available.
          It is not really a question of “not caring”. If this were a common occurrence with this particular PD, you might be right. But the article makes no mention of such an issue.

  8. defund the police.
    they only enforce the decrees of judges who are predominantly imbeciles.
    then we can declare open season on criminals. kind of like THE PURGE.

  9. Go ahead and take this to court. Make all the dufuses that are implicit in the matter explain themselves in court. Publish the lame excuses, etc. Save the material to re-publicize if any are elected officials, during their next election cycle.

    • In ILL=annoy, the judge is just likely to dismiss with prejudice. They are all crooks.

  10. Expected responses from Springfield PD:

    “Um, we lost her gun…”

    “Er, we don’t know where it is…”

    “Do you have a duly executed property receipt confirming that we took it?”

    “The SPD is pretty sure that Officer Snuffy is not carrying it as a “throw down”.

    “Female…Veteran…owning a handgun…ABSURD! She should trust us, her sworn homunculus defenders, to protect her”.

  11. Come on Boch, you know Rena Rojas isn’t getting that gun back.
    It’s Illinois, that gun is in some cops collection.
    If it was a nice S&W somebody in the SPD called dibs.
    GSL will be buying her a new gun.

  12. Its interesting how people who swear an oath to the Constitution expect us to obey the law but they flaunt obeying it every chance they get when it suits thier purposes and agenda. Personally, as much as I support the police (having 6 relatives who are or were police officers) I wouldn’t give people like this the right time of day and would sue them immediately if they pulled a stunt like that on me. When you take someone’s property and don’t return it that is theft, period and they should be subject to the laws dealing with theft.

  13. I’m willing to bet that the pistol has been “misplaced” into the hands of a Chicago street gang. No accountability, no problem. Why would the state’s attorney be in charge of the firearm? I guess that the state’s attorney was going to charge Ms. Rojas with a crime. Can’t have too many armed minorities in the Land of Lincoln, is probably their motto. This is an egregious ABUSE of power and outright theft under color of law. Remember, when the police ask you a question, you must politely decline to answer.


  15. This seems like deprivation of civil rights under the color of law. It’d be awesome if you could use her case in court as an example of why Illinois should not have a FOID system at all.

    This is also why respectfully declining to answer questions about arsenals you may or may not have isn’t a horrid idea. She could have been jailed for calling on a prowler in that case.

  16. Her pistol is likely in the drawer of some cops dresser by now. Hence why they don’t reply. They have no intention of returning the gun they stole. “Back the blue until it’s you.”

  17. Her gun makes a good throw-down piece for a cop in a questionable homicide.

  18. Has no one actually gone to the attorney’s office and spoken to someone in person, rather than relying on a message to be returned?

  19. Gun control is simply evil. Those who support gun control are evil. Period. Full stop.

  20. didn’t court already say that you don’t need a foid in your home? Give the lady her gun back!

  21. Rojas needs to call the police and report a theft. Then go to the municipal court and seek a warrant for the arrest of those who will not return her property. Then file a civil suit for the theft of her property naming the state’s attorney. Use the system. Let local media know. There is at least one friendly radio station in Springpatch.

  22. If Rena Rojas doesn’t have her pistol back by next Monday evening, she’ll have a new gun and her peace of mind restored, courtesy of some of our GSL members GSL will initiate a lawsuit on her behalf to finally have prior-restraint (a.k.a. Illinois’ FOID system and similar systems in other states) ruled unconstitutional.

    There, fixed that for you.

  23. DON’T ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THE COPS ASK!!! Good grief. The cops are NOT your friends. They are jackbooted agents of the state. The founders put the Fifth in the Bill of Rights because they KNEW any cops would be corrupt agents of the state.


    • I see your point but bridle at the thought of surrendering the country state by state to the libs and gun-grabbers. I hope she gets the money to sue and to publicize this incident.

  24. I’ll fix her initial call:
    “911, what is your emergency?”
    “There’s someone laying in my yard.”
    “Do they appear to be in distress?”
    “Well, he’s not moving, and there’s an awful lot of blood.”
    “Did you check to see if he’s still alive?”
    “I’m not going anywhere near him. I just happened to look out the window and saw him. I’ve done my civic duty and reported it.”

  25. Disarm the police. Issue them night sticks and the training to use them. These are immoral and degenerate police officers. People have said that they were lucky to be born in the United States instead of bangladesh. Now they are very unlucky to be born in the state of Illinois.

  26. Hey Freedom caucus in the congress. You guys need to start talking about the terrible and injustice, that has just been done to this female gun owner.

  27. Don’t talk to revenuers, ever. They have two jobs: earn for the state and jam up citizens. If you need them to flex their qualified immunity on some perp fine just don’t talk to them or let them in your home. Give the dispatcher only what they need then shut it.

  28. You said the woman is a senior citizen, but then you listed her birthdate as 61 (1961). Doesn’t add up

  29. Dan Wright emailed me back last night and said this is inaccurate and he is hoping to get a response posted.

  30. As for the picture of the 4 seized guns and the question in its caption, my guess is maybe the Sig with the hollowpoints could be legit, although it’s a little grimy on the controls. The Ruger with the stendo and the $100 laser was definitely not found with a FOID holder. I’d say also likely not the Taurus. The revolver is a bit of a toss up to me. Looks cheap, has a mix of ammo including a couple of the cheapest lead round nose you can find, but what are the other 4 rounds? I can’t tell if it’s just the lighting, but they almost look like they’re loaded with drill bits.

  31. Call the cops back and file an official report on the stolen gun, including the identities of who stole it and who you think has it.

  32. Imagine how many sleepless nights she has endured after the cops took her gun. Way to go, boys in blue.

  33. Got the samed canned response as AQ. “I genuinely appreciate your email and would welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter at your convenience. Mr. Boch’s story is inaccurate and I have asked him to post a correction with my complete response to his article. I’ll pass that along as well. ”
    Of course, he sent NOTHING. Typical.

  34. meanwhile at a location close the original victims house the prowler was caught trying climb into another home, however was determined that the individual did not pose a threat to the community at large, the PD did however recover a six shooter from the 90 year old wheelchair bound war vet, citing a clerical error, thus Proving the Criminal Catch and Release Program is working splendidly, 2 firearms were confiscated from frail defenseless elderly citizens that evening and the prowler released out into the urban jungle to flourish on to bigger and better crimes.

  35. Well, this is now December and no updates as to whether she ever got her gun back. I wonder what’s happening.

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