CHICAGO — Hoping to capitalize on Illinois' complex definition of residency, the lawyer for Chicago Bears player Tank Johnson said Friday that misdemeanor gun-possession charges against his client should be dismissed because the defensive lineman is a "non-resident" not bound by the state's registration laws for firearms owners.
"If you're a non-resident and the guns are registered in another state, that's an exemption," attorney Thomas Briscoe said after a brief hearing in Lake County Circuit Court, where he filed a motion to have the charges against Johnson — a former Washington Husky — thrown out. A hearing is scheduled for March 9.
Briscoe said Johnson's weapons were legally purchased and registered in Arizona, where Johnson is a legal resident despite his purchase of a home in Gurnee, Ill., where police seized six loaded and unloaded guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition during a raid in December.
At the time of his Gurnee arrest, Johnson was on probation in Cook County for a 2005 misdemeanor gun-possession conviction and had been ordered not to possess any guns. Last week, Johnson pleaded guilty to violating the terms of his probation during a hearing in Cook County Circuit Court.
• The Bears designated linebacker Lance Briggs their franchise player, and New England did the same with cornerback Asante Samuel. The franchise tag means a team can keep the player by matching any offer sheet he signs with another team.
• Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera met for several hours with Chargers president Dean Spanos and general manager A.J. Smith about San Diego's coaching vacancy. The Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer on Monday.
• Garrett Reid, 23, son of Philadelphia coach Andy Reid, has entered a drug-treatment program amid charges he injured a woman in a traffic accident while under the influence of heroin.