Illinois Firearm News

Illinois’ First Concealed Carry Arrest

Originally Posted April 3rd, 2014

A Chicago man allegedly was involved in a rent dispute with his tenants and pulled his firearm. The tenants are saying that the Landlord threatened them with the firearm.  The original reports are lacking much detail on the actual arrest other than to say the man had a concealed carry license and his license and firearm were confiscated and the man was arrested.

If we look at the original report by the Chicago Sun-Times,

“O’Connell was involved in a quarrel over rent money with a 52-year-old man on March 23, police said. O’Connell allegedly pointed a handgun at the man and threatened to shoot him.”

There are 3 possible scenarios, 1 ) O’Connell was brandishing his firearm and threatening the tenants, in which case he would deserve to be punished. 2)  The tenants may be alleging false accusations, however how would they know O’Connell was carrying a concealed firearm.  3)  Perhaps O’Connell felt justified in pulling his firearm, feeling threatened by the tenants and the tenants were first to contact the Police.

The Sun-Times report is certainly reporting that the act by Mr. O’Connell was not justified and that Mr. O’Connell was the aggressor.  Due to the lack of facts surrounding this case it’s impossible to know for sure what really happened. And like all stories there is always 3 sides, my side, your side and the truth.  However let us use this incident as an educational opportunity as what not to do.

First and foremost as a legally armed citizen, we are held to a higher standard than the average citizen.  We should not be hap-hazard with our firearms.  Brandishing, or intentional displays, are a no-no.  Concealed means concealed, only your closest friends and family should know that you are armed, and drawing a firearm is for defensive purposes not offensive.  Secondly if you are ever involved in a situation where you felt you were justified in drawing your concealed firearm, my opinion is you should most certainly contact the police, even if shots were not fired.

For a moment let us give Mr. O’Connell the benefit of the doubt, let us assume he was justified in drawing his concealed firearm. Let us assume Mr. O’Connell felt threatened.  If that is the case, what Mr. O’Connell did was that he did not contact the police and file a report.  This then gives the real aggressor the opportunity to be the complainant. In the eyes of law the complainant is usually the victim.  It is my opinion if I were ever involved in a situation where I felt justified in drawing my defensive firearm, but was able to escape without firing shots, I would call 911 and my statement may be similar to the following,

“Hello Police, my name is Thomas Kral. I am legally armed with a concealed carry license.  I was just threatened and had to pull my firearm. Shots were not fired however the attacker is…  “

I want to be sure I am contacting police in case the attacker tries to turn the table against me and state that I was the aggressor. I want to contact the police because if there were any witnesses, they may not have understood why I felt justified in introducing my firearm to the situation and the witness may also be contacting the police.  I don’t ever want to have to draw my firearm, but if I do, I want to be sure nobody, especially the police, thinks that I am the aggressor.

Food for thought…


Original Sun-Times article:

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