It's been about 12 hours since this happened and I'm still freakin' furious. I didn't get much sleep last night since I'm so emotionally charged up about this and I've been awake since 3:30 am since I couldn't sleep, so I apologize if I'm not entirely clear or coherent. I just gotta get this off my chest and vent to some fellow gun owners. I'll try to keep it short.
I took the day off yesterday to go to the range to finally shoot my new PS90. I was really looking forward to the trip since I've had the thing for about 6 months and still haven't fired it yet. After I parked and grabbed my range bag out of the trunk, I started walking toward the entrance and noticed two cops standing there with a folding table set up near the doors.
As I got closer, one of them approached me and told me to please step over and put my bags on the table. I asked "why?". The cop responded in a very belligerent tone of voice "just step over to the table and lets see some ID". Again I asked, "what is this about". Finally the other cop said "we need to check your firearms. We're performing a check on all firearms and you can't go in until we complete the check". Again I asked "why?". The belligerent cop said "we're just doing a check" and again demanded to see my ID.
I said "no, you can't just perform random searches of people's property without probable cause". This is where things started to go downhill. There was a bit more conversation about searching my bags and more of my refusal, reminding them that they had no right to do so. I believe I quoted the 4th amendment which really pissed them off and one of them commented that my rights don't matter in this case. Finally, belligerent cop said "if we don't search your bags then you can't go in", so I said "fine, I'll leave" and turned around and started to walk away. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw belligerent cop come at me and it was clear he was going to try something physical, so I braced myself. He grabbed me and tried to throw me to the ground, but I managed to slip loose and he ended up going down himself. Now the other cop is screaming at me to get down on the ground and I turn around to see him pointing his Glock at me. I cannot believe this is happening. An anticipated fun day at the range instantly turned into a nightmare.
They handcuffed me, sat me down on the sidewalk, emptied my pockets and then proceeded to search my range bags. They open my little rifle bag, find the PS90 and try to tell me it's an illegal gun and only military are allowed to have them. All the while, they keep going on about how they're going to come to my house to confiscate all my guns and how I'll never be allowed to own a gun again. They kept asking me all kinds of questions and kept going on about someone named Hector, but after they handcuffed me, I really wasn't listening and stopped talking to them.
Long story short, I was taken to jail, charged with disorderly conduct, assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. I sat there for most of the day before the wife came to bail me out. They gave me my wallet and keys back, but all the cash had been removed from my wallet (about $80) and my drivers license and FOID card were missing. When I asked the clerk about it, she eventually found my license and gave it back to me, but didn't know anything about the FOID card. I also got my range bag back, but it was empty and I didn't get the rifle bag. The PS90 with EOTech holo sight, two 50 round mags and 300 rounds of 5.7 hollow point ammo were gone and they wouldn't give it back to me. The total value of confiscated equipment, about $2200.
At that point, I was tired and just wanted to get out of there. We still needed to drive all the way back to the range to pick up my car. They apparently didn't bother to search the car thankfully, since everything was the way I left it.
While I was being processed at the police station, I found out why they were stopping and searching people at the range. Apparently, about a week ago there was an incident where a cop was shot. The cop is OK, but apparently some very specific ammunition was used and they were looking for anyone who might have it or a gun that could fire it. Somehow they got the idea to search everyone going to the range. I don't know what the logic is behind that decision or what the details are, but I'll try to find out more later. Apparently the cops are very upset about this shooting and are going crazy to find the shooter. Violating people's rights don't seem to be any of their concern, as long as they find their man.
Luckily, my wife works for a very large law firm in Chicago which is the exclusive firm for the CPD. I am going to talk with a lawyer later today about the whole ordeal.
Thanks for letting me vent.