While Texas AG Stands Up For Law Enforcement, IL’s AG Threatens Them With Five to Ten Years in Prison For Off-Duty or Retired Carry at Schools

by Tommy Grant

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We loved yesterday’s news about Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton going after five businesses or organizations that ban off-duty cops from carrying on their premises, in violation of Texas state law. Kudos to AG Paxton for not only using common sense, but holding noncompliant feet to the fire.

Anyone who says that your vote doesn’t count clearly doesn’t understand that elections have consequences. Do you think for a moment if someone like Beta Beto O’Rourke would have done the same had he run for and won the Lone Star State’s AG position?

In the real world, we bring you the polar opposite in Illinois: Attorney General Kwame Raoul. A whole lot of pro-gun folks stayed home in the last election and instead of electing renowned civil rights attorney Tom DeVore as our AG, we got Kwame the Clown.

Recently, Raoul’s office released an “informal” opinion in January that retired and off-duty police officers who carry firearms on school property are committing a Class 3 felony. In the “informal” opinion of the Land of Lincoln’s top lawyer, only on-duty police and armed security officers of said school have an exemption to the felony charge on school property.

In layman’s terms, the Land of Lincoln’s criminal-friendly (and cop hating) AG is putting off-duty cops at risk of arrest, loss of their job and a felony conviction that carries a sentence of 5-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 should they carry on school property.

Accordingly, in the absence of a statutory amendment otherwise providing, a qualified retired law enforcement officer may not carry a concealed firearm in a school or on the real property of a school without potentially violating subsection 24-1 ( c )( 1. 5) of the Criminal Code.

Interestingly, the informal opinion lumps in “qualified law enforcement” with the retired officers at least twice.  And plenty of legal beagles are reading that to suggest the if it’s not “on duty” law enforcement, they get treated the same as retired cops.

Lastly, subsection 24-1 ( a-6) of the Criminal Code provides that subsection 24- 1 ( a)( 4) does not apply to or affect a “qualified current or retired law enforcement officer” qualified under LEOSA. It may be argued that because subsection 24-l(c)(l.5) is defined as a violation of subsection 24-1 (a)( 4) in a school or on the real property of a school, the language of subsection 24-2(a-6) also exempts qualified retired law enforcement officers from subsection 24- l(c)(l .5). However, Illinois courts have held that each “specific location” provision set out in subsection 24-1 ( c )(1.5) is a separate offense from the general offense established by subsection 24-l(a)(4). Chairez, 2018 IL 121417, 118 (because subsection 24-l(c)(l.5) is separate from the sentencing provision set out in subsection 24-1 (b ), “we presume that the General Assembly intended that, if proven at trial, the specific locations enumerated in [sub]section 24-l(c)(l.5) are to be separate offenses that carry their own enhanced sentences different from the prescribed sentences in [sub]section 24-l(b)”); Cunningham, 2019 IL App (1st) 160709, 113 (“our supreme court [in Chairez] recently held that the ‘specific places’ provision of the UUW [ unlawful use of a weapon] statute ( section 24-1 ( c )( 1. 5)) creates separate offenses from the unconstitutional blanket prohibition on the possession of firearms outside the home for selfdefense stated in section 24-l(a)(4)”); Green, 2018 IL App (1st) 143874, 114 (discussing Chairez and concluding that “the offense of ‘UUW within 1000 feet of a school’ is distinct from the offense of UUW, which the Seventh Circuit found unconstitutional in Moore”). 12

Nothing says “pro-law-enforcement” like holding out the potential for felony charges for off-duty cops packing heat, right?

As for retired officers carrying in HR218?  Those ladies and gents can definitely go pound big rocks into little rocks as well. They can expect tender loving from AG Raoul and his merry band of 500ish gun control jihadist and political apparatchik attorneys under him:  five to ten years in the big house.

For the foregoing reasons, qualified retired law enforcement officers qualified under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 who are qualified under the Illinois Retired Officer Concealed Carry program are not permitted to carry a concealed firearm in a school or on property belonging to a school. In the absence of a statutory amendment otherwise providing, a qualified retired law enforcement officer under LEOSA who carries a concealed firearm in a school or on the real property of a school potentially violates subsection 24-1 ( c )(1.5) of the Criminal Code of 2012.

In a state with the most federal corruption convictions several years running, and where you can’t swing a cat in the Illinois General Assembly buildings without hitting at least a couple of potential corruption scandals, Kwame Raoul can’t find any corruption. But if a state cop carries off-duty at his daughter’s softball game (which really happened), he gets to ride a desk for months while his superiors decide whether or not to fire him and ask the local prosecutor to file charges or if they’re going to just let it slide.

Frankly, probably the only thing that saved him this time was a local prosecutor who looked at the report and said, “Are you kidding me?”

So when it comes time to vote, VOTE.

Elections have consequences.  And if you don’t vote, you might get a Soros-loving state attorney general to help make your state more dangerous for the good guys, including you.

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