Chicago, IL –-(Ammoland.com)- In 2012 Quovadis Green was working as an armed security guard on the north side of Chicago. He was getting out of his van when Dan Svoboda, a teacher at Senn High School, saw Green outside the van that was parked across from the school in his security guard uniform with the gun on his hip.
Svoboda notified the assistant principal of Senn High School of a man in some type of uniform with a gun. Assistant Principal Carter Carey walked across the street to speak with Green. Carey asked Green if he was a police officer. Green explained that he was an armed security guard and there was no need for concern. Carey appeared satisfied with this explanation and went back to the school.
However, Svoboda was not satisfied with Green's explanation and dialed 911 to report “a man with a gun.” Officer Cannon responded to the call and observed Green in his uniform with an empty holster. Green had taken off his Glock 17 and put it in his van to alleviate the school's concern.
The police searched Green's van and recovered his 9mm pistol. Police arrested Green and charged him with possessing a loaded gun in a vehicle on a public street. He was found guilty of this charge, but the courts later overturned the conviction because the appeals court found that the law was unconstitutional in Illinois.
The court also found Green guilty of having a firearm within 1000 feet of a school. A Cook County State's Attorney Investigator determined Green had parked his van only 97 feet from the school well within the 1000-foot radius.
Even though Green did have a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card, worked as a security guard, and did not act threateningly, he was convicted by the courts of a class 3 felony and sentenced to one-year probation. The conviction ended Green's career.
Green filed a notice of appeal on November 21, 2014. The briefing took place in May of 2017. The courts held oral arguments in November of 2017. During which the court suggested and all parties agreed to wait until the People v. Chairez court case was resolved due to the potential impact on Green's case.
The Chairez case was similar to the Green case but involved a public park instead of a school. On February 1, 2018, the Illinois State Supreme Court ruled that the 1000 feet law was unconstitutional. Due to the ruling, the courts requested supplemental briefings from both parties involved in the Green case.
In the new briefing, the state contended that the law was different than the law in the Chairez case. They argued that the law in the Green case was necessary to protect children and prevent crime. The state seemed to try to play on the emotions of the court.
Green's legal defense argued that the Chairez case was nearly identical and therefore should have a direct effect on his charge. On June 14th the appeals court agreed with Green and overturned the conviction.
Maj Toure, President of the “Black Guns Matter” group that helps train people in underserved areas such as Philadelphia and Chicago in responsible firearms ownership as well as provide some legal help for gun owners, applauded the court's decision.
“I think they did the right thing,” Toure told AmmoLand. “I applaud the courts for recognizing individual justice and not thinking like robots. It clearly was a violation [of the constitution]. I applaud their decision in respecting individual freedoms. I hope Green sues everyone involved for violating his human and constitutional rights.”
Green lost his job as a security guard as well as losing his rights to vote and to own firearms in the time frame that he was considered a felon. It is unclear if Green plans to take civil action against the state for violating his rights.
AmmoLand's request for comments from the States Attorney's Office was not returned at the time of publication.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.