Profile photo of admin

by admin

Successful registration of functional M59/66 and M59/66A1s

January 9, 2013 in Chicago

Per my prior post, I successfully registered a Yugoslavian M59/66 despite accurately answering the question “Is your rifle a Grenade Launcher”.  Anyone who submits a registration for either of those rifles should include a copy of the evidence from my prior post with their registration paperwork.

Profile photo of admin

by admin

Registration of Yugo SKS rifles (M59/66 and M59/66A1)

December 16, 2012 in Chicago

Chicago ordinance 08-20-010 defines assault rifles as follows:

“Assault weapon” means:

(1)     A semiautomatic rifle that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following:

(i)     a folding or telescoping stock

(ii)     a handgun grip which protrudes conspicuously beneath the action

(iii)     a bayonet mount

(iv)     a flash suppressor or a barrel having a threaded muzzle

(v)     a grenade launcher; or

The reading of the above ordinance indicates that in order to be classified an “Assault weapon” a rifle must have a detachable magazine and have one or more of the features mentioned.  The Yugoslavian SKS has two of the features, a bayonet mount and a grenade launcher, but it lacks the ability to accept a detachable magazine.

The registration form asks the following question for rifle registrations:


Chicago ordinance 08-20-220 imposes a penalty for providing false information on a firearm registration as follows:

8-20-220  False information – Forgery – Alteration.

(a)     It is unlawful for any person purchasing any firearm or ammunition, or applying for any CFP or registration certificate, or, in giving any information pursuant to the requirements of this chapter, to knowingly give false information or offer false information or evidence of identity.

(b)     It is unlawful for any person to forge or materially alter any application for a CFP or firearm registration certificate.

(c)     It is unlawful for any person to forge or materially alter a CFP or a firearm registration certificate.

(d)     It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess a forged or materially altered CFP or firearm registration certificate.

*(f)     It is unlawful for any person to knowingly make any false statement, submit any false information or misrepresent any information required in this chapter.

Century Arms International is a prominent importer of SKS rifles and according to the manual provided by them, the rifle is a grenade launcher.

Operational Characteristics:
The Yugo Model 59/66 rifle is a gas-operated, integral box magazine-fed arm distinguished from other
SKS variants by the prominent spigot-style grenade launcher permanently attached to the muzzle and a
folding grenade launcher sight. Equipped with a spring-loaded operating rod, a gas rod works the action
via gas pressure. It also has a “tilting bolt” action locking system. The 10-round magazine is loaded from
the top either manually (one round at a time) or with the use of a 10-round stripper clip. It is chambered
for the 7.62x39mm cartridge.

In a nutshell, it would be a violation of Chicago Ordinance 08-20-220 to answer “No” to the grenade launcher question when registering an M59/66 or M59/66A1 that did not have the grenade launcher removed.

8-20-300 Violation – Penalty.

(a)     Any person who violates section 8-20-0208-20-0308-20-0358-20-0608-20-080 or 8-20-110 shall upon conviction be fined not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5000.00 and be incarcerated for a term not less than 20 days nor more than 90 days.  Each day that such violation exists shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

(b)     Unless another fine or penalty is specifically provided, any person who violates any provision of this chapter, or any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder, shall upon conviction or a finding of liability for the first offense, be fined not less than $1,000.00, nor more than $5,000.00, or be incarcerated for not less than 20 days nor more than 90 days, or both.  Any subsequent conviction for a violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $5,000.00 and not more than $10,000.00, and by incarceration for a term of not less than 30 days, nor more than six months.  Each day that such violation exists shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

(c)     In addition to any other fine or penalty provided in this chapter, the CFP or registration certificate of any person who violates any provision of this chapter, or rule or regulation promulgated hereunder, may be revoked.  Any person whose CFP is revoked shall not be eligible for a CFP for 5 years from the date of the revocation; provided that the superintendent may waive this restriction if, in the determination of the superintendent, the applicant has demonstrated that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to his person or property.

(d)     Upon the determination that a person has violated any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder, the superintendent may institute an administrative adjudication proceeding with the department of administrative hearings by forwarding a copy of a notice of violation or a notice of hearing, which has been properly served, to the department of administrative hearings.

Lawson v Chicago – VICTORY!

August 5, 2011 in Chicago

I have to hand it to my lawyer, Joel Brodsky, he did a great job.  Kudos also to my expert witness, Andre Queen of Fidelity Investigative Training Academy.

Big thanks also go to Christopher Conte and Todd Vandermyde, of the NRA, who supported me in this lawsuit.

And of course, I couldn’t have done this without the moral support I get from the good folks in the gun rights community, especially

Order of Administrative Hearing Officer On Remand 8-5-2011

Here is the text of the decision:


This matter having been heard on the remand order of Judge Patrick T. Rogers, entered on June 24, 2011, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Municipal Department-First District.  All parties having been heard by the Administrative Law Judge concerning the denial of firearms registration certifications under the Municipal Code of Chicago, Chapters 2-84, et. Seq. and 8-20, et seq..  It is the findings of this Court:

  1. On June 24, 2011, Judge Patrick T. Rogers remanded this matter to the City of Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings and ordered “for both the plaintiff and the City to provide additional evidence as to whether the four firearms are prohibited under the City ordinance.  The Court further orders that plaintiff be permitted to bring the four firearms to the hearing for the purpose of providing evidence”.
  2. On August 2, 2011, a full hearing was conducted and the City of Chicago presented testimony from Sergeant Stanley Petraitis and Police Officer Biggins from the Chicago Police Department Gun Registration Division.  Applicant, David Lawson, presented evidence testimony from Andre Queen, Fidelity Investigative Training Academy.
  3. The subject rifles: SKS Rifle serial # 1703531, SKS Rifle serial # 2203167, SKS Rifle serial # 3H1539 and SKS Rifle FE1596-1958 were presented in open court and available to the parties witnesses for inspection and examination.  The City objected to the presence of the rifles and the City witnesses declined to examine the subject rifles.  City’s objection was overruled.
  4. Sgt. Petraitis testified for the City that based upon his review of the Application for Firearm Registration filed by David Lawson on or about August 31, 2010, there was no indication that the subject rifles were modified from the fixed magazine position.  David Lawson’s testimony is unrebbuted that the weapons, and the fixed magazine platform, are in the same condition as when he purchased the rifles, when he applied for the registration and at the time of the hearing.
  5. The undisputed fact is the subject rifles are over seventy years old and there have been no alteration or modifications from the original design.  David W. Lawson is licensed by the Department of Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as a Collector of Curios and Relics.
  6. The City witness, Officer Biggins, contends that the subject rifles have the capability of accepting a detachable magazine with a flick of a sharp object or a bullet without structural changes to the weapon.  Officer Biggins testified that “the process” does not allow him to demonstrate this potential alteration to the subject weapons.
  7. Sections 8-20-190 and 8-20-205 of the Municipal Code of Chicago, provides for the procedures for denials and revocation, inter alia, “A registration certificate shall be revoked (1) when the firearm becomes an unregisterable firearm;” or “if, in the determination of the superintendent, a CFP or registration certificate should be revoked,”.  That is the City’s recourse in the event there was a modification or alteration to the subject weapons.
  8. It is the finding of this Administrative Law Judge, based upon the testimony of all the witness’ and the examination of the subject rifles by the applicant, David Lawson’s witness, Andre Queen, the subject rifles did not have the ability to accept a detachable magazine in the condition in which the weapons existed at the time of the application process nor at the time of this hearing.


The Denial by the Chicago Police Department of David Lawson’s registration of the subject four SKS Rifles is REVERSED.  The subject rifles are not prohibited under the Municipal Code of Chicago, 8-20-170, and therefore, registration certification shall issue accordingly.  Pursuant to Section 2-14-102 of the Chicago Municipal Code, this decision is final and subject to review under the Illinois Administrative Review Act.

Lawson v. Chicago – Mayhem Denied!

August 2, 2011 in Chicago

[I’m skipping ahead a few chapters in order to chronicle today’s events.]

Mayhem didn’t happen today and I’ll explain why.

Pursuant to Cook County Judge Patrick Roger’s order, I was permitted to bring my four SKS rifles down to the Chicago Administrative Hearings office (400 W Superior Street) to admit them into evidence along with my own expert witness (big thanks goes out to Andre Queen of Fidelity Investigative Training Academy) and, most importantly, my lawyer (Joel Brodsky), who represented me at the Cook County Court appeal.

Around 11am, I picked up my four SKS rifles where I had them stored (Article II Gun World), where they have been safely stored in order to protect Chicago from the threat of mayhem apparently imminent if they are introduced inside Chicago city limits.  Lombard, the home of Article II Gun World, was saved from the SKS mayhem by the state-of-the-art kryptonite lining of the range’s storage facilities, no doubt.

From there, Colleen and I drove the dreaded rifles downtown to pick up our legal team and we all proceeded to the Chicago Administrative Hearing office at 400 W. Superior.  No mayhem occurred on the way.

We were met at the front by a capable and affable CPD officer who escorted us into the building and inspected the rifles to ensure they were unloaded and no ammunition was present.  More mayhem averted.

The hearing.

Chicago strenuously and repeatedly objected to the presence of the four SKS rifles at the beginning and throughout the hearing, prompting the hearing officer (a suburban lawyer under contract to act as ‘judge’ for hearings between the City and her residents—no conflict there!) to lament that they were placing him in the uncomfortable position of ignoring the written order of a Cook County Circuit judge.  Chicago tried to argue that the order didn’t specifically mention examining the rifles.  I guess they felt that Judge Rogers wanted the rifles brought in, but hidden lest they induce mayhem.  The hearing officer overruled Chicago’s objections.

Chicago called a CPD Sergeant who had previously been in charge of the Chicago Gun Registration Unit and assisted in drafting the “Responsible Gun Ownership Ordinance” and who oversaw the unit for the first 3 months of the new ordinance.  He testified that the SKS rifles were unregisterable because they can be modified to accept detachable magazines.  The Sergeant refused to touch the rifles to demonstrate how they accept said magazines on redirect.

Chicago then called a CPD Officer who works in the same unit and who testified in my previous hearing.  He was the officer tasked with researching these particular guns and issuing the denial of registration.  Chicago was armed with internet printouts of SKS rifles of the same model as mine being offered for sale.  They also presented an internet printout of an online parts seller that shows an exploded view of the SKS and lists parts for sale.  They also sell detachable magazines that can be purchased for use in SKS rifles.  Finally, the last internet printout showed SKS Drum magazines.  Mayhem was a-knockin’!

During cross examination, attorney Joel Brodsky queried the CPD Officer as to whether “grandpa’s double-barreled shotgun” with barrel length over 18 inches is registerable.   Answer:   Yes.   He then asked couldn’t someone spend 2 minutes with a hacksaw and cut down the barrel such that the firearm was unregisterable?  Answer:  Yes.   This established that registerable firearms can be modifed to be unregisterable.  He also pointed out that the Chicago ordinance contemplates that activity and states that should a registered firearm be modified to a firearm that would be unregisterable, it would then become unregistered.

He then asked if there were currently firearms registered that could become unregisterable.  Answer:  Yes.  This was the lead-up to specific questions regarding my Ruger 10/22, that is currently registered.  The officer had to admit that I could replace the stock and modify the 10/22 to become unregisterable.

This officer as well refused to touch the firearms at my lawyer’s request for a demonstration.   There was quite an amusing circular argument that has to be read to be believed.   I hope to have transcripts and/or audio when available.

My lawyer first called our expert witness, Andre Queen.  He effectively rebutted the testimony of the CPD officers, demonstrating the function of the rifles, their history, and what is required to convert them to accept detachable magazines.   On cross, Chicago asked Mr. Queen if he was being paid to testify.  Answer:  No.   They then asked “so you are doing this out of the kindness of your heart?”  Answer:  As a matter of fact, yes.  Priceless!

On close, Chicago tried to characterize this issue as not being about my specific rifles, or myself, and they were forced to admit that I might not be a terrible person.  I was gratified.  They then argued that this issue is about the protection of Chicago from the increased threat of mayhem proposed by the lawful registration of SKS rifles.  Mayhem’s a-go-go now!

Three hours later, the hearing was over, and the hearing officer promised his ruling by Friday (August 5th).   After dropping my legal team back at their office, and my wife back at home, I transported the dread SKS rifles back outside Chicago city limits, thankfully before any mayhem could happen.

I have no explanation for how I managed to resist the urge to commit mayhem with my SKS rifles.  Perhaps I might be recommended for a Civilian Commendation.

Lawson v. Chicago, Initial Denial

March 13, 2011 in Chicago

On November 2nd, I was mailed a denial for registration for five rifles and one shotgun, four of which are fixed-magazine SKS rifles and are pictured below along with a redacted scan of the letter.

On November 8th, I followed the instructions on the denial letter and faxed a hearing request to the Department of Administration Hearings.  I was called later that day by that office informing me that the new ordinances placed into effect following the McDonald case require that I appear in person to submit the hearing request.

Also on November 8th, I was sent the second denial letter with the corrected Municiple code section cited and indicating the correct appeals procedure.

On November 12th, I took time off from work and appeared in person at the Department of Administration Hearings to file my appeal.

As can be seen in the corrected denial letter, registration of the SKS rifles was denied pursuant to Municiple code Section 8-20-170 (d) on the grounds that they are “assault weapons”.

Section 8-20-010 defines “assault weapons” with respect to rifles as:

(1)     A semiautomatic rifle that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following:

(i)     a folding or telescoping stock

(ii)     a handgun grip which protrudes conspicuously beneath the action

(iii)     a bayonet mount

(iv)     a flash suppressor or a barrel having a threaded muzzle

(v)     a grenade launcher;

Lawson v. Chicago, Introduction

February 18, 2011 in Chicago

Over the next few posts, I’ll be discussing my current lawsuit against the City of Chicago.  I filed this suit, with assistance from the NRA, on December 27th, 2010 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Municipal Division.

This suit is in response to an Administrative Hearing in which I was denied registration for four SKS rifles.  Per law, Chicago was required to respond to my suit on January 31st, 2011 with the hearing record.  Here is the original time according to the docket:

  • 12/27/2010 – Lawson v Chicago filed
  • 01/03/2011 – Summons served to Chicago via certified mail
  • 01/31/2011 – Chicago’s filing of the hearing record due
  • 02/28/2011 – Tentative court date

As of the date of this posting, 02/18/2011, Chicago has not responded to the lawsuit.

I’m back!

November 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

I took this site down at the request of my counsel when I decided to become a plaintiff in what became the landmark McDonald v. Chicago case.

In late June, 2010, the Supreme Court of the US ruled that the individual right declared in the DC v. Heller case is incorporated against all levels of government and remanded the case.  The case was subsequently mooted by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals after Chicago amended its gun ordinances.

I am re-dedicating this site to the goal of bringing the 2nd Amendment fully to the City of Chicago.

And so it begins.

Skip to toolbar