CHICAGO — An appeals court has upheld a decision to deny a concealed carry firearm license to a former Chicago alderman candidate who court documents said had been arrested 18 times, and had been accused of several violent acts, including threatening to put an employee “in a wood chipper and six feet underground."
On April 27, the Illinois First District Appellate Court upheld Cook County CIrcuit Judge Moshe Jacobius' decision to deny Michael Jankovich a license to carry a concealed firearm because he was a danger to others and a threat to public safety.
Jankovich filed his application on April 14, 2014. In the application, which asks questions about previous arrests and convictions, mental health issues and substance abuse issues, Jankovich answered “no” to those questions. After completing the form, applicants are subject to criminal background checks.
Following the background check, the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County Sheriff objected to the application, saying he was a danger to public safety.
According to the sheriff, Jankovich had been arrested 18 times, including three times for assault and once for battery between 1989 and 2009. He was only convicted for a 1992 criminal damage to property charge and was given probation.
In July 2010, Jankovich allegedly kicked and punched an individual using “metal knuckles,” resulting in facial injuries and a cracked tooth, according to court records. Chicago police suspended the case because the victim could not be reached.
In February 2011, Jankovich allegedly threatened a person who had damaged some of his signs for his campaign for alderman of Chicago's 43rd Ward. In response to the damage, Jankovich allegedly called the victim and said, “I am going to have some officers come over there and arrest you if you do not pay and if not, I’m gonna have some of my guys come over there and bust your head open and break your legs while I’m eating my dinner … it’s nothing to me,” according to court records.
The victim did not want to press charges because “he had heard from people in the Bridgeport neighborhood that [plaintiff] would make good on his threats,” according to court records. Police suspended the case because the victims stopped returning detectives’ calls.
In September 2012, Jankovich allegedly called one of his employees and said, “I’m going to put you in a wood chipper and six feet underground if you don’t stop calling about the money,” according to court records. The investigation was suspended because the victim said Jankovich stopped calling him.
In his appeal to this court, Jankovich argued that the trial court incorrectly found that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to carry a concealed firearm and, as a result, applied the improper level of scrutiny. He also argued that the licensing board improperly relied on a rap sheet and police reports, which he referred to as inadmissible hearsay and that the standard applied by the board in denying his license violates the Second Amendment and is unconstitutionally vague. Finally, he argued that allowing the board to rely on hearsay evidence violated his constitutional rights.
First District Appellate Justice David Ellis wrote in his opinion that the board did not err in considering Jankovich's rap sheet or police reports, because the board is required to rely on this type of evidence.
“We hold that the Act’s standard for denying a license, based on an applicant posing a danger to himself or others or a threat to public safety, is consistent with the Second Amendment and is not unconstitutionally vague. We finally hold that plaintiff’s inadequate argument that the Board’s reliance on hearsay violated his constitutional rights merits no consideration,” Ellis wrote in the opinion.
Jankovich was represented in the action by the Shelist Law Firm, of Chicago, according to Cook County court records.