Sheriff Tom Dart on Bellwood Shooting and Concealed Carry

Rick discusses the recent shooting of off-duty sheriff’s officer Cuauhtemoc Estrada with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. Sheriff Dart informs Rick that there are multiple suspects in the shooting. They also address Illinois’ concealed carry law.

Rick Pearson

Cuauhtemoc Estrada/ Chicago Tribune Photo

6 comments

  • Tango

    So Sheriff Dart implies that because local law enforcement will only have 30 days and cannot use the LEADS that there will be no background checks performed, but completely fails to mention that instructors – and one would assume applicants – had to complete a question and answer sheet that resembles that FOID application, as well as the forms one completes when purchasing a firearm, with questions about criminal history and metal illness.

    He also implies that any agency around the state can use LEADS to access a local department’s internal files – that is untrue.

    He also seems unaware (which I doubt) that as a part of the application process to become certified as an instructor one also signs a form with this message:

    My signature authorizes the Illinois State Police to verify answers given with any government or private entity authorized to hold records relevant to my citizenship, criminal history and mental health treatment or history; to use the digital photo, demographic information, fingerprints and signature from my Illinois Driver’s License or State Identification to create my approved Conceal Carry Instructor document; and to share my information as described in the Warning contained herein. Your fingerprint images will be used to search against the files of the Illinois State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation and will be retained in such files. …Under penalties of perjury, I certify I have examined all the information provided for my application or renewal and, to the best of my knowledge, it is true, correct, and complete.

    Sure sounds like a full and complete background check to me, and as such should “overcome any concern”, shouldn't it?

    I would also mention I found it interesting that he repeatedly talked about "handing out guns". Really? Can I go to the Cook County Sheriff's Office and get mine like people on public aid can get free cell phones? I only wish that were the case.

    With the cost of the license being set prohibitively high (2nd highest in the country) and having the longest (and thus most expensive) class time in the country, the law abiding people who live in the poorest neighborhoods and need the ability to defend themselves the most will still be disarmed due to the cost of the process. Reminds me of the days of the Poll Tax.

    What also shows his true sentiments is how he would hold arrests that did not result in convictions against an applicant. Not only is that at odds with the protection offered in Illinois against using one’s arrest record to discriminate against someone, but with the very concept of innocent until proven guilty (convicted) – something I would think an attorney and former prosecutor would understand.

    He – like Sup. McCarthy and all the other fearmongers – also knows that the criminals who, as Leslie said, are "killing our kids" bought their guns illegally, do not have FOID's (largely due to previous felony convictions), and as such could and would not qualify for a License under the act. They are and have been carrying guns illegally for far longer than we have been wetting our pants about licenses. The “guns on the streets” we need to get rid of are in the pockets of the gang bangers and drug dealers, not in the holster or purse of the law abiding people.

    And despite the fear he keeps throwing into the discussion, anyone with the most minimal computer ability could find out for themselves that concealed carry permit holders have a rate of criminal activity that is a fraction of the regular (non gun carrying) population. And by fraction I mean a rate of criminality less than one percent, whereas the "ordinary" population averages about 7%.

    The left predicted "blood in the streets" due to concealed carry holders when Florida began their "shall issue" policy in 1986.

    It never came to be.

    Nor has it in any of the 35 states that have enacted it since, or in states like WA or IN that have allowed CCW for years, even before Florida.

    As a supervisor with over 24 years of total service (14 years more than Sheriff Dart) I would ask Sheriff Dart to stop spreading untruths; but unlike him I started on the street, and still work there, and the street is a much different district than (D) party functions, fundraisers and press briefings. Sadly, I realize that much as kids hanging with criminals can lead them down the wrong path, hanging out with politicians as your primary social group can lead to bad habits as well – like bending the truth to fit your campaign message.

    I only feel bad that this commentary has to occur when the focus should primarily be on the tragic loss of Investigator Estrada.

    Rest in peace Brother. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Patriot

    The Sheriff never ceases to amaze with his grandstanding rhetoric. He is only responsible for unincorporated Cook County, which is very small. He fails to mention that the Illinois State Police will already do the LEADS search and more on every applicant. He is not a superceding authority and is prohibited by law from running background checks for this purpose. The Sheriff can just object based upon his whims. he must have reasonable suspicion and be able to document and present such findings. The database that he will have access to will give him all of the information about applicants who live in his jurisdiction (unincorporated Cook). It will include arrest information and he can then object. What dart doesn't seem to be able to grasp is that his ideology has put him into this situation. If he weren't so rabidly anti-gun, he could have worked with the legislature to get a shall issue law which Cook County could administer and run the background checks. Instead, they wanted sole discretion on whether or not to issue, if at all. He has been hoisted by his own petard.

  • steve-o

    The truth? Dart wants to control all CCW permits in Cook County. His plan is to charge $300 for the permits (from a Huffington Post story) for residents of Cook County. Wonder where that money would go if he can get away with it?

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