Articles Posted in Weapons Charges

quentin-kemmel-445082-copy-300x200As controversy surrounding gun violence and the Second Amendment ramps up across the country, both the federal and state governments are feeling pressure to crack down with tighter gun regulations. From the outside, Illinois appears to be ahead of the curve. Historically, Illinois boasts some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States. Illinois is one of seven states that requires permits or licenses in order to buy any class of firearm, along with California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Furthermore, and maybe more surprisingly, Illinois is one of only five states that require a waiting period to buy any type of firearm. According to The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks gun laws nationwide, Illinois earned a “B+” for its gun laws. However, California scored even better than Illinois, earning a grade of “A” with what are considered to be the strictest gun laws in the country.

The Illinois gun laws are largely attributed to the high volume of crimes committed with firearms in and around the Chicagoland area. From an outsider’s perspective, the number of crimes committed with guns in Chicago in comparison to the strict requirements for ownership do not add up. However, it is important to note that several surrounding states, including Indiana, have some of the weakest firearm laws in the country. Chicago’s proximity to these states makes it easier to bypass the Illinois regulations and obtain illegal firearms.

In Chicago, statistics show that homicides account for a large number of crimes committed with a firearm. After taking a closer look, it would seem that an overwhelming majority of homicides committed with a firearm come at the hands of repeat gun offenders.

sebastian-pichler-25154-copy-300x200Recently, a Chicago judge was charged with a Class B misdemeanor offense. Cook County Judge Joseph Claps was walking in the courthouse lobby when a gun fell out of his jacket pocket. The judge proceeded to pick up the gun and place it in his pants. Security cameras caught the incident on tape and the Sheriff’s office took a report.

Although Judge Claps’ weapon was registered, he was carrying the gun in a restricted area. Even though he has a concealed carry license, he is not permitted to have the weapon in the courthouse. He has since been placed on non-judicial duties pending investigation and trial. This means that Judge Claps will be confined to routine tasks, such as legal research and marriage ceremonies.

This incident has sparked a lot of questions regarding the security and regulations that take place in our courthouses. While some may blame the security guards for letting the gun pass through the scanners, this case is not that simple. There are several complex regulations that impact courthouse security. If you will be entering a courthouse in the near future, it is important to be up to date on these procedures.

diana-feil-226524-copy-200x300Gun control laws have been in a considerable state of flux for many years. Although in Illinois you are allowed to exercise your second amendment right to possess a firearm for self-defense, many still get in tangles with the law (see here for details on what warrants a charge of an unlawful use of a firearm or here for details regarding more serious affairs).

There are many reasons for this, but an undoubted central source would have to be the many changes to the laws governing guns over the years. More specifically, the last couple of decades have seen significant changes. The following are sections of significant change within the last 20 years of gun law history.

1998

sawyer-bengtson-279792-copy-200x300Chicago law makes a distinction between merely possessing a firearm illegally and using a legal firearm for illegal purposes. If the crime is of unlawful shooting whilst in possession of an illegal firearm, the penalties are increased. This is because it is considered to be an aggravating factor to use an illegal firearm to commit any crime under the provisions of the handgun law.

To be absolutely clear, a person in Chicago can be prosecuted for both possessing an illegal firearm and using a legal firearm to commit a crime. Because Chicago has been dubbed the “Gun Crime Capital of the World,” the authorities are anxious to ensure that crimes of gun violence are severely punished. That is not to say that Chicago is willing to engage in full gun control.

For example, the illegal possession of a handgun is a Class 4 Felony in Chicago and can carry a term of imprisonment of up to three years. The possession of other firearms is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor, which could lead up to a year in jail as well as a fine of up to $2500. Your lawyers may be able to negotiate a plea to a lesser charge.

a-l-117960-copy-300x198Law enforcement officers are cracking down heavily on carjacking cases in Chicago. The stiff sentence given to the accused in a violent November carjacking is a prime example. Another similar case of carjacking involved the car of a retired cop in Chicago. There have been several such cases in the past year alone.

Carjacking is increasingly becoming a menace in Chicago. The federal authorities are showing a keen interest in punishing the offenders. This further increases the conviction chances for the offenders.

Carjacking Crimes in Chicago

antonio-grosz-148540-copy-300x200Many people in Chicago find it hard to believe that criminals involved in any mass shooting have a chance to defend themselves. This is because of the seriousness of the offenses that result from this crime and the restrictive nature of Chicago gun laws. With the right legal advice, however, an individual charged with a mass shooting can successfully defend his or her case.

With the United States facing the worst mass shootings in the modern history, it is likely that these incidences might stir action on gun control. If you look at Chicago, there were over 4,000 victims of crimes related to guns in 2016 alone. This means that we have to come up with measures that will actually bring a real impact.

History has shown that mass shootings mainly happen in places where victims cannot defend themselves. These include churches, learning institutions, and other places where people are not allowed to carry guns. According to research, all the public shootings in the US have occurred in locations where citizens are banned from carrying guns, except for two cases. In Europe, all the mass shootings have taken place in areas where citizens are banned from carrying guns.

quentin-kemmel-445082-copy-300x200A gun owner’s card (FOID) may be confiscated or seized if one is convicted of a felony or becomes a subject of an order of protection. This is why it is crucial to consult an experienced lawyer if you believe you have a legal case. Following a seizure, you will not only need a reliable defense lawyer on your side, but you will also need someone who understands how to protect your gun possession rights.

Police seize firearms from people who fail to follow the law. However, they sometimes face opposition from firearm owners. Currently, gun control advocates are trying to remove firearms from dangerous offenders while avoiding any activity that might offend the rights of a gun owner. This can obviously cause complications between gun control advocates and those who believe in the right to bear arms. Since 1968, it has been a requirement in Illinois to apply a FOID card to own a firearm. Only law enforcement and military members own firearms without FOID cards.

Generally, a FOID card denial occurs if you get convicted of domestic violence, charged with a felony, for those addicted to narcotics, previous patients in a mental health facility in the past five years, mental or intellectually disabled people, or if one is a subject of court restraint order. FOID cards can also be withdrawn if the owner seems to be able to cause harm to others or to him or herself.

diana-feil-226524-copy-200x300It is a sad fact, but it is still a true one: Gun violence in Chicago, Illinois is steadily climbing higher and higher. The amount of gun crimes taking place in the city is reaching what some consider to be an epidemic level, making residents feel fearful and unsafe. Meanwhile, there are two opposing camps that are warring over the best way to deal with the gun crime rates in the Windy City: Those who feel that more gun control is needed, and those who feel like less is needed. With gun violence on the rise and crime rates at unpleasant numbers, it is making dealing with the law itself increasingly difficult.

The Second Amendment

Until recently, guns could not even be purchased inside of Chicago. The local laws banned the sale of guns within the city limits. However, in 2016, this law was ruled as unconstitutional. Strong advocates of the Second Amendment were thrilled, but those in favor of gun control were not quite so happy with the outcome. Whatever the case, it became a fact of life: Guns were easier to obtain in Chicago. There is little evidence at the moment that gun laws were being broken either before or after this occurred, so the jury is still out on any strong connection.

tim-graf-202490-copy-300x200Few laws have created the angst that is experienced in the stop-and-search era. The basic premise is that if you come from an ethnic minority, then the chances are that you will be more likely to be stripped and searched than a member of the mainstream community, which is primarily white Caucasian in this context. It is a violation of civil liberties. There are numerous reports of these powers being abused.

The law enforcement agencies may hide behind the notion that they are merely engaging in a consensual process, but consensus can never be achieved if one of the parties to the cause is so much more powerful and influential. The power of arrest and charge is particularly compelling to any would-be suspect when he or she is deciding whether or not to resist the arrest. The law enforcement agencies have attempted to report this as a practical matter of people from ethnic minorities committing more crimes more often than their mainstream white Caucasian counterparts. Other social researchers disagree with this premise because it does not account for the impact of the systemic deprivations with which these ethnic minorities have to contend.

Working Towards a Sustainable Model

antonio-grosz-148540-copy-300x200Chicago has been battling gun crime for a long time and legislation is one of the tools available for tackling it. Legislative instrument number 720 ILCS 5/24-1 summarizes the law as it stands today. Nothing demonstrates the complexity of the issues at hand like the regulation of automatic weapons in Chicago. It is not enough to say that possession of such a firearm is illegal; there must also be specific procedures that determine how the courts are going to handle the various cases that come before them. Existing legislation has tended to focus on controlling the sale, possession ,and use of certain weapons in order to prevent or punish criminal behavior.

For the defense attorneys, this remains a double edged sword. On one hand, a defending attorney is able to challenge the prosecution at any of the detailed procedures for proving criminality. However, the prosecutor can also return the favor by selecting any of the following for attack:

  • Purchase