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A fire fighter working for Merrionette Park was charged with felony reckless discharge of a firearm after shooting his legally concealed pistol during what he claims was self-defense situation.

According to Patch, Cook County Judge, John Mahoney, released 30-year-old Jeremy Bruno on $10,000 bail and had the public servant placed in an electronic monitoring device on Sunday.

Court records on the case say Bruno was attending a birthday party for a 5-year-old, when 24-year-old Jaime Salinas raced his Dodge Charger past the party of young children, prompting one of the guests to throw a beer can at his car, but missing.

Salinas circled back down the street and roared past the party once again, prompting another hurled beverage.

Salinas then ran over the party host’s and her neighbors’ mailboxes before running into Bruno’s truck, then began flashing gang signs at the other guests.

While Bruno was looking over the damage to his truck, Salinas “boxed in” the fire fighter and pointed what Bruno said he thought was a gun at him.

Bruno drew his .38 caliber Ruger LCP and fired two shots at the other man, “endangering the safety of the general public,” the charging documents claimed. Neither shots struck their intended target and no one is reported injured despite the events.

Oak Lawn Police took Bruno to the station where he was booked for a felony.

Later that same evening, the hosts of the party said Salinas returned in his Charger and tore up the lawn with his tires before hitting yet another mailbox and speeding away.

Police were finally able to locate Salinas in his Charger at around 10:30 that night, still racing down residential streets at high rates of speed and dragging his front bumper.

Oak Lawn police report following Salinas for a short time, but immediately gave up the pursuit when the Charger took off doing 80 MPH in 25 MPH zones, and blowing through at least 3 stop signs.

The next morning, the hostess reported to police that all four tires on her vehicle had been slashed.

Perhaps assuming detectives would be able to eventually track him down because of his license plate, Salinas turned himself in to the police on June 17th. He was immediately charged with one felony count of aggravated fleeing, misdemeanor charges of criminal damage to property, and several traffic violations.

Cook County Judge John Mahoney was asked to remove Bruno, a qualified public servant, from electronic monitoring but turned down the request. Later, the judge changed his mind after learning of the allegations brought against Salinas for his part in the altercation.

Salinas is due back in court on July 10th, while Bruno is due back on the 16th to answer for his use of a firearm in self-defense.

You never know if, or when you may need self-defense protection to counter act legal fees which will accrue during an investigation. Even after being acquitted of a crime an armed citizen who acted justifiable may still be at risk in a multitude of other ways. Such as employment. Bruno might not be allowed to work as a firefighter until after the charges are cleared up.

This is similar to what happened to Stephen Maddox in the harrowing tale, Concealed Carry: Charged With First Degree Murder.

There are many providers of self-defense insurance with varying degrees of protection and success, but CCW Safe is one of the best, as you will see in the above article.

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A man was shot and killed attempting to steal a BMW near Ida B. Wells Dr. and State St. at around 0430 a.m. Friday.

The owner of a 2015 BMW told detectives a Volkswagen rear-ended him. The man first got out to look at the damage, then returned to the car for his cell phone.

That’s when the driver of the other vehicle got out and approached him with a gun drawn. The 22-year-old carjacker demanded the keys to the BMW and forced the owner inside.

Concealed carry holder fatally shoots attempted carjacker after crash in Loop, police say - YouTube

Once inside the car, the owner was able to get a hold of his own gun and shot the would-be carjacker in the head. He was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

According to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, investigators recovered two guns at the crime scene, one licensed to be carried concealed by the victim who also has no criminal record, the other presumably belonging to the now deceased suspect.

He was taken in for questioning at the Area Central police station.

Guglielmi went on to say that the investigation is still on going,

“Detectives still have not made a determination as to whether charges are warranted,’’ Guglielmi said. “We have not found a link between the 41-year-old Chicago man and the offender, but we’re certainly looking at that to make sure that nothing could have precipitated this.”

This tactic, which criminals use to spring an ambush on their victims, is what is known as a “Bump and Rob.” The criminals purposely ram the target vehicle in order to get the driver to pull over. Then they attack when the driver tries to exchange insurance information.

'Bump & Rob' Collisions Prey On Drivers - YouTube

Often, they will attempt to limit the damage if the target is a higher-end vehicle. However, if you are seen carrying expensive packages, criminals may initiate a “Bump and Rob” to steal them.

Know your enemy. Criminals are ambush predators looking to catch their prey off guard. The front door of your home is popular place to do this as well. Read here for a course on Door Ambush.

Do you know how to fight in and/or around vehicles? Crime happens near cars more often than almost anywhere else. Brush up on your Vehicle Firearm Tactics here.

What lessons do you think could be learned from this? Leave a comment below to let me know.

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50-year-old Billy Cowart was found to be acting in self defense for the shooting of 2 coworkers in June of 2016 in the United Auto Workers 551 parking lot.

Cowart, who is a licensed concealed carrier and a veteran with “extensive combat training,” was immediately arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Cowart was then suspended and terminated from his position in the company where he spent the better part of 2 decades.

After more than a year waiting for trial, his attorney, Dave McDermott, was finally able to present the surveillance footage of the shooting, which showed Cowart was not the aggressor in the altercation.

The video shows the argument between the men, employed by Ford Motor Company, which led to one man walking up to Cowart and “sucker punching” him in the face.

The punch rocks Cowart, who stumbles back, drawing his pistol and firing at the ground in the direction of his attacker. The attacker and another coworker were wounded in the legs by the shot.

Former Ford Employee Acted In Self-Defense When Shooting Coworkers - YouTube

“He retreated,” Cowart told CBS News. “I holstered my gun.”

Then, just as things looked like they would soon be finalized, the Ford employee was thrown another curveball.

“I get a call from my attorney Dave and he says, ‘Turn the TV on. You’re not going to believe this,’” Cowart said.

Just days before Cook County Judge Joseph Claps was to give his ruling on the case, he was accused of bringing a pistol into the courthouse and accidentally dropping it on the floor in front of two women.

Surveillance footage shows the county judge drop the weapon on the floor of the lobby, then quickly scoop it up and deposit it into a pants pocket.

Because of the judge’s lack of judgement and a Quality CCW Holster, Cowart’s case was again pushed back another three months until a separate judge could hear the case.

After reviewing the case, the new judge determined from the footage of the shooting that Cowart was indeed acting in self defense and found him not guilty on all counts.

“I was actually numb,” Cowart said of the experience. “You can say innocent until proven guilty, but it’s guilty until proven innocent.”

But life has yet to return to normal for the armed defender more then 30 months after the shooting as he is still in negotiations with Ford to be returned to his job with two and a half years of back pay.

According to Cowart, Ford has been difficult to convince of his innocence even given the legal ruling over the case.

“The union here basically said, ‘You got what you deserved. Deal with it,’” he said. “I was crucified before the trial. I was the villain. I was the mad employee.”

Cowart sat through a 10-hour arbitration hearing with his employers, but must wait another month before he hears if his nightmare is actually over.

The legal and financial burden associated with a self defense shooting adds to the overall stress of an already highly traumatic incident.

Self-defense insurance can help lower the stress after a self-defense encounter by providing the finances needed to win the legal battle. USCCA offers some of the best.

What do you think of this odd case? Leave a comment below to let me know.

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Concealed carry permit holders in Illinois are receiving letters informing them to turn in their permits immediately, or face arrest.

Ken Cook, who has carried concealed since 2014, told Jenise Rebholz, a reporter from Heart of Illinois ABC:

“The letter stated you have to surrender your conceal carry license within 48 hours or risk the possibility of a warrant being issued for an arrest.”

Cook and his wife turned in their permits the next day, October 7th.

“All of a sudden it’s revoked because my instructor was audited and they revoked his certification and therefore a chain reaction, everyone he taught was revoked because the training (was) deemed insufficient by the state of Illinois,” Cook said.

Cooks instructor, Russell McCormick, is only one of many such instructors who were audited and found with insufficient training programs and had their firearm instructor certification taken away.

“They said he didn’t provide the correct amount of time for the class. They said the class should consist of 16 hours but the approved curriculum on the Illinois State Police website says the 16-hour class must contain a minimum of the following topics… and it breaks it down and that only adds up to a total of 6 hours,” said Cook.

Cook went on to say that the letter was unnecessarily aggressive, and he felt as if he had been made a criminal.

Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz told HOI-ABC:

“It seems as if the revocation letters were pretty harsh and would be the type of letter you would expect to be sent from a violator when in fact these were victims,” said Umholtz.

Victims of negligent concealed carry instructors, who did their students a grave disservice. Negligence so extreme, it turns out, criminal charges may be filed against the instructors.

Cook said that while getting the letter in the mail was inconvenient, the process of trying to get his CCW permit re-instated has been a bit of a nightmare.

Cook was eager to comply with the threats issued by ISP but found it extremely difficult to do as his multiple, well documented, attempts to get in contact with the department proved fruitless.

After receiving the revocation letter, Cook, once again, paid full price for a CCW class in order to re-obtain the permit. When ISP website malfunctions prevented him from uploading the documents as directed, he tried to get in touch with the department by phone to show he had completed the requirements.

All of his phone calls went un-returned

Cook then contacted Valinda Rowe, the spokesperson for Illinois Carry, a not-for-profit organization, “Devoted to advancing your right to carry in Illinois.

She recommended Cook mail in a copy of his new certification, which he did promptly.

A full 30 days passed without Cook receiving any notification. He then contacted the Governor’s office on November 22nd requesting help.

Rowe advised him to once again submit the paperwork. Cook finally received word from the Governor’s office that his appeal had begun processing on December 5th. A week or two later, his permit arrived in the mail.

But unfortunately, the story didn’t end there.

“When I got my concealed carry license back in the mail, five days after that I got a letter in the mail from the Illinois State Police that said ‘Hey we just reviewed your appeal and we’ll be granting your appeal so you’ll be getting your conceal carry back…’ when I already got my license back in the mail,” said Cook.

Cook isn’t alone in his frustrations.

Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz isn’t sure how many people have been affected by the letters, but estimates anywhere between dozens and hundreds. He offered a possible excuse for the department, saying the police are probably too “… stressed to the maximum” to handle the job in a timely fashion.

Brian Wood, an instructor with Good Shepard Defense & Training said that while he hasn’t seen those letters before, the unresponsiveness of ISP is nothing new to him.

“It’s frustrating because if people have a question, I tell them to contact state police directly. These people are trying to get information to comply with the law, it’s difficult and frustrating when they can’t talk to someone that can tell them right from wrong,” he said.

Concealed Carry Law and be tricky. It can be trickier when the government unjustly threatens you with arrest, then ignores your attempts to rectify the problem.

Concealed carry protection can help reduce the level of nightmare after a self-defense situation by defending you from the Illinois legal system. USCCA offers some of the best.

What do you think of this legal soup sandwich? Did your instructor fulfill the requirements? Leave us a comment below to let us know.

If your aren’t sure, here is a list of training classes and dates in your area with instructors who won’t let you down the way Cook’s did.

The word negligent means, irresponsible, thoughtless, failing to take proper care.

Do you think these instructors were negligent in their duty to students? Should they face criminal charges? Let me know in the comments below.

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A 25 year old Chicago woman waiting for the bus at a Southside bus stop used her legally-owned, concealed carry firearm in defense of her life, early Tuesday morning.

While waiting at the local bus stop, the 25 year old woman clearly felt she had no choice but to pull out her concealed carry firearm and shoot an armed, 19 year old man in the neck who then ran away and collapsed a short while later. He made it about a block before his wound forced him to retire.

He was brought to the hospital, listed in serious condition where he was later declared dead from a single gunshot wound.

It’s apparent by the video that some sort of struggle ensued, though we don’t know what it looks like at this time due to a gap in the surveillance footage. However, the woman is seen getting off the ground at the end of the video, where it’s also heard that the 19 year old man took her concealed carry gun from her before he fled the scene of his attack.

The woman was able to land one shot before her gun was taken. That single gunshot would eventually kill her would be attacker. It is being reported that the man was armed, however we do not know what he was armed with at this time. Some reports say he was armed with a gun.

The woman received only minor injuries from the attack. You can see the video here:

We are also being told at this time that there is an ongoing investigation into the whole ordeal.

What are your thoughts on this defensive gun use story? Let us know in the comments below. Finally, if there is ever a time to be covered against this sort of event, it’s before it happens. Join USCCA, before the critical incident so you can be covered legally.

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Four people are dead after a gunman opened fire inside a Chicago Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, Monday afternoon around 3:20 p.m.

A police officer, a pharmaceutical assistant, and doctor were killed when 32-year-old Juan Lopez began shooting with a 9mm handgun he was reportedly licensed to carry concealed.

According to Steven Mixon, an emergency room clerk who witnessed the shooting, Mixon had received a call from a man he believed to be the ex-fiancé of Dr. Tamara O’Neal at around 1 p.m. in the afternoon.

“He called and asked to speak with his fiancé,” said Mixon. “And she (O’Neal) said, ‘Oh, just tell him I’m in with a patient.’ ”

Later, after his shift, Mixon was waiting for an Uber to take him home when, “I look up and I see her (Dr.  O’Neal) being harassed by some gentleman,” he said. “She was trying to avoid him and move around. And when she saw me, she waved for me to come that way.”

4 dead, including cop and hospital workers after shooting in Chicago - YouTube

A female co-worker tried to intervene but ran away when Lopez flashed the gun by pulling up his shirt and revealing the handgun in his waistband.

Before Mixon could reach them, Lopez had drawn and fired 3 times into the chest of Dr. O’Neal, then stood over her and fired three more times as she lay on the ground.

A police car came down the drive with lights and sirens and pulled in front of the hospital. Lopez opened fire on the car as the officers exited, returning fire as they did.

Chicago Hospital Shooting Leaves 4 Dead, Including Suspect | TODAY - YouTube

Lopez turned and fled into the hospital, the officers pursued, and the gun fight continued.

25-year-old Dayna Less, a first year Pharmacy Resident was hit and killed by gunfire as she stepped out of the elevator in the hospital lobby.

Steven White told CNN he was in the emergency room when the shooting started,

“We heard some shots so we all ran to the emergency window; we see this guy out there, military style, shooting at the police — pow, pow, pow,” he said.

One witness, Hector Avitia reported Lopez reloaded twice, “… he was just shooting like a maniac. And he obviously knows how to shoot because he was holding the gun with both hands.”

Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez was fatally wounded in the lobby during the shootout with Lopez.  He was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center where he died.

28-year-old married father of 3 children, Officer Jimenez was a new to the force with just 2 years’ experience.

The Chicago Police Department said on Twitter:

“Today, we mourn Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez. His heroic actions saved countless lives. He ran toward danger. He ran toward those shots. He ran into fire. Selflessly. Samuel Jimenez: altruism personified.”

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said the officers, “… saved a lot of lives because we just don’t know how much damage he was prepared to do.”

When officers moved into secure the hospital they found Lopez dead with a gunshot wound to his head. It is unclear at this time if the wound was self-inflicted or not.

Sen. (D) Dick Durbin said of the shooting,

“My heart is with Mercy Hospital in Chicago tonight. I am praying for the victims, their families, and those who were injured during the shooting this afternoon. And I am extremely grateful to the Chicago Police Department who responded with bravery.”

Did you know, according to the FBI, armed citizens are successful 94% of the time in an active shooter/killer event?

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Police in Robbins, Illinois, shot and killed the wrong man, early Sunday morning.

According to witnesses at Manny’s Blue Bar, armed security guards approached a group of intoxicated men and asked them to leave.

One of those in the group, who did not appreciate being thrown out of the establishment, returned with a gun and opened fire.

The security guards returned fire. Four people were treated for non-life-threatening injuries including the suspected shooter.

One security guard, Jemel Roberson, had nabbed one of the men involved in the shooting outside the bar.

Adam Harris, a witness of the event said,

“He (Roberson) had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,'”

Soon after, police began to arrive on scene, and one officer mistook Roberson for the threat, shot and killed him.

Midlothian police officer shoots bouncer at Robbins night club - YouTube

“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard. And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.” Harris said.

According to Midlothian PD Chief Daniel Delaney in a statement about the shooting:

“A Midlothian officer encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an officer-involved shooting. The subject the officer shot was later pronounced deceased at an area hospital,”

A Cook County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman reported that Roberson did have a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID), but did not possess a concealed carry license.

Roberson was well loved in his community for his musical skills, which he used in his service for several churches in the area and had plans to join the police department.

“He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life,” Rev. Patricia Hill of Purposed Church said of Roberson.

Another Reverend, LeAundre Hill, said:

“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,”

The investigation of the shooting which set off the events is being investigated by Cook County Sheriff’s Office, while the shooting by police is being investigated by the State Police Public Integrity Task Force.

Police officers sometimes must make snap decisions during a crisis, making it a very difficult and stressful occupation.

While this tragedy is extremely sad that a brave young man lost his life attempting to protect others, civilians must be aware of how extremely difficult it is to make the right choice when chaos ensues.

Being an armed citizen carries with it enormous responsibility and risk. Here are some things to help keep you safe when police arrive.

  1. If possible, make sure to tell the person(s) who calls 911 relays your identity to the dispatcher to warn police officers there is a good guy on scene with a gun as well. Try to be a detailed as possible about where you are standing so they know where to look for you.
  2. Comply immediately with all commands given by the police officers. While there is no mention of this happening in the situation above, when you are given the chance to drop your weapon, do so without hesitation. Follow officers’ directions to the letter until they can sort things out.
  3. Ask the dispatcher to let you know when officers are about to be on scene, so you can holster up. Many departments will set up around a corner and announce they are on scene, so the off-duty officer or armed civilian can put their weapon down. One option might be to holster up when you hear sirens close. But of course, do so as carefully as possible from a position of tactical advantage, should the suspect attempt to use it as an opportunity to continue the attack.
  4. Try to take cover if possible while holding your weapon on the suspect. Try to pick your positioning where you can observe the threat in front of you but will also have cover if the police fire. In other words, try not to be a fully exposed target when the police arrive, if possible.

What do you think about the statements made by the church leaders? Do you think what they said is correct? Leave us a comment below to let us know.

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An educator in Illinois carried her gun into school for the first time after completing 9 months of police officer training because her district lacked the budget to employ a full-time resource officer.

Julie Kramer, the superintendent of a rural 320 student school in the Hutsonville school district, said she wanted to become a police officer so she could carry legally on school property in the event of a shooting.

“If somebody comes in to try to hurt my kids, we have something other than a stapler to throw at them. We’re no longer a soft target. We have some options. I’m just going to be a superintendent that happens to also be a police officer. … I have to be able to protect my kids.”

The 51-year-old educator began the training after a student in a nearby school shot a class mate in the cafeteria. It was a wake-up call for Kramer.

She told Time Magazine:

“I think sometimes we sit back and think it’ll never happen here, it’ll never happen to us, it’s states away. But that was really close to home.”

So instead, she did something about it. Attending a police academy where she participated in all things related to being a sworn officer of the law:

How to make arrests, ground fighting, proper use of non-lethals such as pepper spray and tasers, and a 40-hour course on fighting with a gun.

“It is definitely not that common,”  Chuck Doan, director of Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training Program said, “Although I think it’s kind of a sad state of affairs, it’s important that we have people in our schools who can make a police response when necessary, whether that’s in the form of a police officer assigned by the department or someone like Julie.”

Although it’s rare, Kramer is not the first educator to seek police training in defense of their school. The superintendent in Goreville IL, Steve Webb, became a police officer when, like Kramer, he was unable to afford the salary of a resource officer. Now he organizes active shooter training for schools in his district.

Though Kramer had her concealed handgun permit before going to the police academy, she feels allowing teachers to carry guns because they have a CCW permit or military service isn’t enough. More rigorous training like that of a police officer is essential.

What do you think? Do you agree with Ms. Kramer? Let us know why, or why not in the comments below.

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At about 5:05 p.m. on Thursday the 13th, a licensed concealed carry holder assisted a wounded officer in a gunfight.

Police attempted to stop the suspect’s car earlier but he sped off. Police then boxed the car in and the driver exited the vehicle, shooting at 31-year-old Cicero Police Officer Luis Duarte and his partner.

Duarte was hit at least four times: In the arm, leg, and side.

The Good Samaritan, sitting in traffic, witnessed the attack and ran to the aid of the wounded civil servant.

The citizen began shooting at the suspect along with Duarte’s partner. The suspect was hit once but it is unclear at this time whose pistol brought him down.

The officer and suspect were both taken to the hospital in serious condition but expected to recover.

“We were lucky enough to have a citizen on the street there who is a conceal carry holder.” Cicero Police Superintendent Jerry Chlada told reporters.

According to Cicero Town President Larry Dominick, “He got out and started helping the police, which is something I’ve got to be proud of.”

Not everyone, however, is happy the way things turned out.

Gun control advocate Colleen Daley, the executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence said:

“This situation worked out OK, but what if it hadn’t?” Daley said. “It easily could have gone the other way. To sit here and say that concealed carry is the answer to all of our gun violence problems, or more, that armed people are going to keep us safer, that’s not true.”

Some are more worried about the legal issues at stake here.

“It’s great that he’s a hero, but here’s the legal part: You can defend yourself or another,” Attorney Michael Johnson a concealed carry lawyer said, “so was he defending himself or another person?”

Johnson went on to say, “If all he sees is the guy fleeing, he has no right to shoot him, The question is, at the time the Good Samaritan is shooting him, is he (the offender) a threat to somebody, or was he making a getaway?”

Jonson said charges against him were unlikely since he came to the aid of police officers and no innocents were injured.

“ … he’s a super hero.” Johnson said.

Have you thought about what goes into finding a lawyer? If not take a look at this article about How to Find a Gun Attorney

Concealed carry insurance is also worth taking a look at, in the event you might need to draw your weapon.

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Once again, crime is challenged in Chicago via an armed citizen despite the city’s attempts to make the entirety of The Windy City a gun-free zone. This time it was an unsuspecting rideshare driver who was called into action when his car was about to be stolen by two carjackers.

The incident in question occurred on July 12th at around 11:15 at night when a 23-year-old rideshare driver picked up two males in the 7400 block of West Belmont Avenue.

Things were going normally for a few moments, but they quickly changed when the two passengers began to attack the driver and beat him before they attempted to steal his car.

The driver, however, was a permit (and more importantly, in this case, gun) holding concealed carrier. As they kept beating on him, the driver pulled out his firearm and began firing shots at his attackers. This caused the two assailants to run off, however, the carrier made the mistake of chasing after the attackers and in doing so, one of the thieves managed to get back into the car and drive off with it.

The ride-share driver continued to make chase and at one point was even dragged behind his own car before the two managed to make good their escape.

After police got involved, they managed to find the rideshare driver’s vehicle, which was abandoned a short distance away, however, the criminals again managed to evade capture and are still on the run as of the writing of this article.

As for the driver, he is currently safe and healthy and is not likely to face any charges for his actions, but it goes to show that when you’re in a defensive shooting situation taking the offense can end in disaster for you.

But what do you think? Do you think this Uber driver did the right thing? Let us know in the comments below.

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