WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) — Felony gun charges were dropped Tuesday against a former Indiana police officer who brought a gun to the BMW Golf Championship at Conway Farms in Lake Forest last September.
Mark Fedder, 48, a former Mishawaka, Ind. police officer, had been charged with unlawful use of a weapon, a Class 4 felony, and remained free on $1,500 bond.
On Tuesday, those charges were dismissed following ongoing correspondence between Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim and Fedder’s defense attorney, Tom Briscoe.
Nerheim said Briscoe recently provided evidence, including a letter from the district attorney in St. Joseph County, Ind. and verification from the Mishawaka Police Department, that Fedder left the department on good terms and had a federal permit to carry a gun in areas that most civilians cannot.
Nerheim noted that if Fedder merely had a concealed carry permit, his possession of the gun at the tournament would have been illegal.
“The federal permit does allow him to have had the gun at that event,” Nerheim said. “If he would have had a concealed carry permit, he would still be charged here.”
Briscoe praised Nerheim for “investigating the case professionally and making the right decision.”
Briscoe added that Fedder is glad to have the issue behind him.
“He’s extremely relieved. It’s weighed on him very heavily,” Briscoe said.
Fedder was arrested Sept. 18 by Lake Forest Police at the golf tournament.
Since then, several issues have been brought up and resolved, including that the former police officer was not on any prohibited medications while carrying a gun. Fedder also established that he resigned from the police department to accept another job and confirmed his possession of the federal gun permit for former law enforcement personnel.
Initially, Briscoe had argued the gun charges should be dropped on constitutional issues, related to the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that found Illinois’ gun laws unconstitutional.
Nerheim said it was only fairly recently that the federal permit had been brought to the attention of his office.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)