C.K. Morley is not going to prison. Morley was "caught" carrying an unloaded handgun in a case a few months ago in Chicago. He was not charged with violating Chicago's registration law, but with a charge of Unlawful Use of a Weapon under state law. The trouble with that charge is that he was carrying a lawfully-owned handgun unloaded in a case, and he has a FOID card. That means that the UUW statute does not apply. This is not a matter of interpretation, no matter how many prosecutors don't get it. Even the judge in Morley's case, in issuing the order to dismiss the charges a few days ago, admitted to Chris that the case had taught him something new; until Morley's lawyer pointed out the statute, he'd assumed that a gun had to be disassembled in order to be transported legally. But the statute is very clear:
The really good thing about this case is the way that gun owners came together to send money and help so Morley could prevail. C.K. Morley has a long history of giving his time and money to other gun owners caught in similar circumstances. He helped raise money and bring in volunteers to pack courtrooms when John Horstman, Vana Haggerty, and Roderick Pritchett were being railroaded in similar fashion (Horstman had his charges dropped and won a $50,000 settlement against his prosecutors, Haggerty had the UUW charges dropped, and Pritchett prevailed in a bench trial in Cook County.) Now it's his turn, and although I wouldn't wish this experience on him, I'm glad people are trying to help.
(c) This Section does not apply to or affect the transportation or possession of weapons that:(i) are broken down in a non functioning state; or
(ii) are not immediately accessible; or
(iii) are unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person who has been issued a currently valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card.
Now, the bad news.
By my math, the money raised so far amounts to $2,500 or less. The donation buckets passed around IGOLD brought in more than that! More importantly, I doubt Morley's lawyer (Walter Maksym, the guy I'd want to hire if I were in the same predicament) can afford all the work on this case for $2,500. I don't know whether C.K. has found a new job yet, but his marriage is apparently on the rocks and he's living with friends. I think it's time for us all to think about whether we care about helping C.K. Morley get over all the effects of this arrest, or whether we were donating money so he could win a court case that could have affected us. It's going to take a lot more if we intend to help Morley get back on his feet. What are we willing to give?
Checks payable to Walter Maksym and Associates can be mailed directly:
. . . or PayPal donations can be made to FELLOWSHIP@ICARRY.ORG with comments indicating that the money is to go to C.K. Morley.
c/o Gun Owners Fellowship
605 Fulton Avenue
Rockford, IL 61103
(please make checks payable to Walter Maksym and put "for CKMorley Defense Fund" on the checks)
(There were three very serious errors in this post when I posted it. They were entirely my fault. Normally I'd leave any errors in place and strike through them so it's clear just how dumb I am, but leaving these errors in place could have caused problems for others, so they've simply been removed. Thanks to everyone who pointed out these problems!)