APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION
505 N.E.2d 1179, 153 Ill. App. 3d 104, 106 Ill. Dec. 388 1987.IL.259
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Roger J. Kiley, Judge, presiding.
Presiding Justice McNamara delivered the opinion of the court. Rizzi and White, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCNAMARA
After a trial without a jury, defendant, Herman Clark, was convicted of unlawful use of weapons and sentenced to a term of two years. On appeal, defendant contends he was improperly found guilty because he was a licensed security guard and therefore legally in possession of the guns found on his person and in his automobile at the time of his arrest.
On September 23, 1982, shortly after midnight, defendant was driving home from his job as a security guard when he was stopped by police for making a turn without giving a signal. Defendant was driving without a driver's license, and after a pat-down search the police officer found a loaded revolver on defendant's person. When defendant's car was inventoried at the police station, a loaded handgun was found in the trunk. Defendant was charged with two counts of unlawful use of weapons alleging that he knowingly carried guns on his person and in his automobile within five years of a prior felony conviction for unlawful use of weapons and within two years of a felony conviction for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 24-1., Defendant claimed exemption to the statute under section 24 -- 2, which in relevant part grants exemption to the following:
"ecurity guards while actually engaged in the performance of the duties of their employment or commuting between their homes and places of employment, provided that such commuting is accomplished within one hour from departure from home or place of employment, . . .. For purposes of this Section, security guards means persons employed by a licensed detective agency as defined by 'AN ACT to provide for Licensing and Regulating Detectives and Detective Agencies,' . . . and who, as such security guards are members of a security force of 30 persons or more registered with the Department of Registration and Education, provided, that such security guard has successfully completed a course of study . . .. The Department of Registration and Education shall provide suitable documentation to demonstrate the successful completion of such course. Such documentation shall be carried by the security guard at all times when he is in possession of a concealable weapon." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 24-2(4)).
Section 24-2 refers us to "AN ACT to provide for Licensing and Regulating Detectives and Detective Agencies" for the definition of security guards. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 111, par. 2601 et seq.) Section 10b of this Act specifically determines the limitations on who is a security guard and thus aids in determining eligibility for exemption from the unlawful-use-of-weapons statute. The section states:
"(1) No person may be employed by the holder of a certificate of authority as an armed guard or investigator if he . . . has been convicted in this or another State of any crime which is a felony in this State . . .. However, if a person has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude and 10 years shall have expired from the time of discharge from any sentence imposed therefor without the person being convicted of any crime except minor traffic offenses he shall be eligible to be employed by a holder of a certificate of authority.
(2) No person may be employed by the holder of a certificate of authority until he has executed and furnished to the certificate holder a verified statement to be known as 'Employee's Statement,' setting forth:
Defendant testified that when he was stopped, he produced for police both his firearms owner identification card and his Department of Registration and Education Card, the card issued to all licensed security guards. He told police he was employed as a security guard and en route home from work. It was stipulated that defendant had worked for the security company until midnight the night he was arrested.
Defendant also testified that prior to beginning work for the security company, he completed a training course at the Illinois Law Enforcement Academy. Defendant received his certificate from the State of Illinois Department of Registration and Education in February 1982, indicating that he was a licensed security guard.
The State offered certified statements indicating that in May 1978, defendant was convicted of unlawful use of weapons and sentenced to two years' probation, and in April 1980, defendant was ...