Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Rep. Tarver's arrest raises doubts about his ability to govern, activist says


By Glenn Minnis | Dec 4, 2019

Illinois state Rep. Curtis Tarver (D-Chicago)

Chicago Guns Matter president and co-founder Rhonda Ezell questions whether Illinois state Rep. Curtis Tarver (D-Chicago) is the right man for the job he holds, considering his recent misdemeanor charge of illegal possession of a firearm.

“Here we have a representative that’s holding office, voting on legislation that impacts law-abiding gun owners when he doesn’t even understand the basics of the law,” Ezell told Chicago City Wire. “And he’s an attorney. He should have known what the rules are and what a FOID (Firearm Owners Identification Card) card allows you to do.”

On the night of Nov.18, Chicago police took Tarver into custody following a traffic stop on the city’s South Side when he could not produce a valid concealed carry license. The first-year lawmaker has insisted that he had both a valid firearms owner ID card and a concealed carry license when he was stopped and only ran into trouble because police records were out of date and did not reflect the fact that he had renewed his FOID card earlier in the month.

Chicago Guns Matter President Rhonda Ezell

A longtime gun rights advocate who has twice taken the City of Chicago to court and won during her battle to allow gun ranges in the city, Ezell has a bit of advice for Tarver.

“He needs to go back and read the FOID Act and the conceal carry law before voting on gun measures that do nothing to stop the violence,” Ezell said. “He was one of those who voted in favor of Senate Bill 1966 that wants to overcharge legal gun owners because they claim they need more money to fix the FOID card situation.”

Ezell, who champions herself as a “defender of liberty” and is a lifelong member of both the National Rifle Association and the Illinois State Rifle Association, says she’s learned to take the resistance in stride.

“These are the things legal gun owners have to continuously fight over,” Ezell said. “We know it’s not about guns, but really about having power over someone.”

Tarver is scheduled to appear in court again on Dec. 27.

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Illinois State Representative Curtis J. Tarver, II

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