A spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said that no charges will be filed against an armed citizen who last week held a would-be Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) mugger at gunpoint until police arrived.
“After a review…charges were rejected for this individual,” a spokesperson for the State’s Attorney’s office wrote in an email.
CWB Chicago reported that on December 4, “officers responded to the LaSalle Blue Line station at 6:50 a.m. after 911 callers reported that a man beat and robbed a passenger while riding a train, police said. Some callers reported that the robbery offender was lying on the platform with a private citizen holding him at gunpoint.”
John Boch | GunsSaveLife.com
The article went on to say that prosecutors in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office were considering filing weapons charges against the good Samaritan, including possessing a firearm in a prohibited area -- CTA property.
The State’s Attorney’s office identified the would-be robber as Michael F. Oliver, 29. He was held on $10,000 bail. His next court date is Wednesday, December 11.
The head of a gun-rights group said that it would be “ridiculous” if Cook County prosecutors charged the good Samaritan.
“Without knowing all the details of what happened, you really need to look at the greater good of what did happen there,” John Boch, executive director of GunsSaveLife.com, said.
Boch said it appeared from the story that the armed citizen did not have a concealed carry license, but even if he did, he would have violated the law. The first offense for a licensee caught carrying in a prohibited area is a $150 fine.
The law, however, doesn’t stop many licensees from carrying in prohibited areas, Boch said.
“Concealed means concealed,” he said. “Unless something like this [the CTA incident] or the one carrying has a medical emergency, no one knows you’re carrying. People say that’s not law-abiding, but the bad guy doesn’t care about what the law says.”
The CWB story said only that the good Samaritan holds a valid Firearm Owner’s ID (FOID) card.
Penalties are much steeper for those caught carrying without a concealed carry license, especially for those caught carrying in prohibited areas.
The first offense for an Unlawful Use of a Weapon is a Class A Misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent offense is a Class 3 Felony, according to the Concealed Carry Law Handbook published by the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. A Class A Misdemeanor in Illinois is up to 364 days in jail, or a fine of up to $2,500, or both. A Class 3 Felony is punishable by two to five years' imprisonment, while an extended-term Class 3 Felony is punishable by five to 10 years in prison.
“Additionally, there are penalty enhancements for certain locations (for example on or within 1,000 feet of any school, public park, courthouse, public transportation facility, or residential public housing),” the handbook said.