Breaking Clays in Illinois

Discussion in 'National Laws, Bills and Politics' started by Malum Prohibitum, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    As early goose season is about to begin in a few days, my son, a friend, and myself thought we would get some practice by shooting a few clay birds in our backyard. As I live outside the city limits, it is not illegal to discharge firearms, as long as it is done in a safe manner. I live on a five acre lot, and from our shooting area to the nearest residence, (a subdivision within the city limits), the distance is approx. 1000 ft. I would consider this a safe distance for 12 gauge trap loads. Between the three of us, we shot 50 rounds, in about 35 minutes.

    After putting away all our equipment, my friend went home, my son and me went inside to get a drink, and when we came back outside we noticed five police cars in the street in front of the house. As I started walking up my long driveway to see what was happening, the five police officers were coming towards me, already on my property, approaching my house. From a distance they ordered me to put my hands out where they could see them, and as they got nearer, asked if I was carrying any weapons. I said no. Two of them were carrying AR-15's. They asked me if I had been firing guns. I told them that we had been shooting clays in the backyard. "What kind of guns were you shooting?" "Shotguns". At that point they ordered me to put my hands on my head and submit to a "pat-down". They saw my son, (17 years old) standing by the house, ordered him to walk down the driveway, and proceeded to search him in the same manner.

    For exact information, three of the officers were Mundelein P. D., outside of their jurisdiction, but who had received the complaint, and the other two were Lake County Sheriff's deputies.

    After the one deputy took charge of the situation. I asked him if I was not legal trap shooting on my property. He answered that I would have to show them where I was shooting. I then invited the five officers to follow me into the backyard, and described the setup.

    The Mundelein officer, explained to me that the complainant, a remote rear neighbor, had reported "gunshots fired", ( I would characterize it a case of yuppy-itis, irrational fear of guns). The head deputy, who apparently was a bird hunter and knowledgeable about the range and types of shotgun loads, observed the distance of the nearest houses, and though non-committal, he concluded that I was probably shooting safely, and had violated no law.

    As they were all leaving, I asked what I could do to prevent this kind of situation in the future: besides all the hassle, so my neighbors, seeing all the police cars, won't think that maybe Glenn murdered his wife. The head deputy suggested that previous to shooting a couple of rounds, I call the Mundelein P. D. and tell them what I'm up to.


    FROM http://www.icarry.org/index.php
     
  2. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    A pat-down on one's own property? With no warrant? :shock:
     

  3. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    "I asked him if I was not legal trap shooting on my property. He answered that I would have to show them where I was shooting. It told him to "Bugger off" and laid down in my driveway and refused to speak or move further."

    Alright, so I admit it. I added the last sentence. What happens then? :D
     
  4. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    Well, I guess the LEOs would abide by the lawful orders of the property owner and bugger off.
     
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I've posted about this before, but I had the Sheriff's Department called on me several years back when I was shooting full auto weapons and other weapons on my property with family and friends.

    The officer hit the siren and air horn to make himself heard to more than half a dozen people with ear protection and shooting. We came walking out of the woods with "evil military assault rifles" in our hands and pistols in holsters. The deputy smiled as I asked if he was there about us. He asked only one question, "Is this your land?" I nodded affirmatively.

    My mother broke in and said, "My son is showing me how to shoot." The deputy started to get back into his car as he said "Nice day for it."

    That was more than 10 years ago, and the sheriff's deputies have never come out to my land again while I am shooting.

    BUT - with houses now being built closer to my property line I have to choose more carefully where I shoot to comply with local ordinances regarding distance from buildings.