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People v. Spain

NOVEMBER 8, 1974.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

RALPH SPAIN (RALPH PARRANTS), DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PAUL GERRITY, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE SULLIVAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Mr. PRESIDING JUSTICE SULLIVAN delivered the opinion of the court:

Rehearing denied January 3, 1975.

This is an appeal from a misdemeanor conviction for unlawful use of weapons. On appeal, defendant challenges the sufficiency of the complaint and further contends that he was a security guard and comes within a statutory exemption for such guards commuting from home to work within one hour of employment.

On June 1, 1972, at approximately 5:30 P.M., Officer Bally of the Chicago Police Department observed defendant, wearing a gun and holster at his side, in front of a residence at 5710 South Marshfield Street, Chicago. Bally requested defendant's gun registration and state gun owner's identification. Defendant produced these two cards along with a third, showing that he was an employee of the Johnson Detective Agency. Defendant was then taken into custody and charged with unlawful use of weapons.

Prior to trial, the State's Attorney asked leave to amend the complaint both as to the offense and as to defendant's name. *fn1 Permission was granted, and the amended complaint charged defendant with carrying "a firearm" within the corporate limits of Chicago. The court, in granting the amendment, stated:

"Leave to amend granted, that you had in your possession a loaded firearm within the corporate limits of the city of Chicago and not on your own place of business."

The statute does, in fact, prohibit only the carrying of loaded firearms.

At trial, it was established that defendant resided at 225 West 107th Street and that he was at the address on South Marshfield "visiting my kids." Defendant further testified that he was on his way to work at a Walgreen Drug Store when he was arrested at 5:30 P.M. The store is located some six or seven blocks from the South Marshfield address, and defendant stated he was scheduled to begin work at 6 P.M. that evening. He was in uniform when arrested.

Defendant introduced into evidence an employment card from the Johnson Detective Agency, various paycheck stubs from the agency, his time sheet for the week following the arrest, and a National Detective's Association identification card. The State stipulated that defendant was an employee of the Johnson Detective Agency at the time of the arrest.

Defendant was found guilty of the offense of unlawful use of weapons and fined $100.

Opinion

We will first consider the contention that the complaint as amended was fatally defective because the word "loaded" was omitted from the charge of unlawful use of weapons. This offense, as defined in section 24-1(a)(10) of the Criminal Code ...


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