Letter Re: Speeding Coyote Hunters Arrested in Illinois

Mr. Rawles,
I came across this today, and thought you’d be interested: Police: WIU students arrested with cache of weapons.

The key points are:
1.) They were stopped for speeding and their truck searched
2.) Both men had gun permits
3.) They were arrested for possession of firearms and ones’ home searched
4.) Both are now facing legal battles – [even though] no laws [other than the speed limit] have apparently been broken

Blessings & Good Health, – Christine

JWR Replies: A few of my observations:

Did you notice the box for the FN FS2000? It looks like they had a big gun-buying budget.

If they were indeed just out hunting, then why were they wearing body armor? That seems a bit odd, but they were certainly in their rights to do so.

I have my doubts about the article’s mention of a “silencer.” Odds are that either a. ) It wasn’t really a suppressor–just a misidentified muzzle brake, or flash hider, or b.) It was an NFA-registered suppressor. The bottom line is that they may not have been doing anything illegal, other than exceeding the posted speed limit. (Although I have no idea if it legal to carry a loaded firearm in a private automobile in Illinois like in The Unnamed Western State (TUWS), where I live. Knowing Illinois, I suspect that they’ve restricted that right.)

It is curious that the illinois journalist mischaracterized the four guns (one rifle and one pistol per man) as a “weapons cache”. That is a pretty modest quantity for a “cache”. In Texas, in fact, that would be considered traveling “lightly armed.”

And on the lighter side, here is a bit of conjecture, from your friendly Editor: Can you imagine if this had happened in Wyoming instead of Illinois? The exchange probably would have gone something like this:

Deputy: “Do you know why I pulled you over?

Student: “I think it was because I was going 70 in a 55 zone.The 70 zones are so much more common, so that’s what feels like a normal speed to me.”

Deputy: “You boys need to slow down, especially after dark. Consider this a warning.

Student: “My apologies, officer. I’ll do my best to keep a closer eye on the speedometer.”

Deputy: “Whatcha boys doing out here with those NVGs?

Student: “Huntin’ coyotes.”

Deputy: “Had any luck? I hear the price of pelts is was up this year. Oh, you should watch for bobcats, too. I hear those pelts are fetching $800 apiece for nice ones. Now don’t forget to slow down. Good luck with your hunt, boys.”