The state of Illinois has some of the harshest penalties for weapon violations in the country. However, if you possess a valid FOID (Firearm Owner’s Identification) card, you are allowed to own a gun. It is important to keep in mind that having a FOID card does not mean you are legally permitted to carry a gun with you at all times.
Unless your gun is in an appropriate case, in a condition where it can not be fired, and you are on your way to the firing range or moving, it is best not to carry a gun, especially in Chicago. To do so, you will need a concealed carry permit, and even then there are circumstances and locations in which you are not allowed to bring a weapon.
If you are facing weapons charges, contact a gun crime defense lawyer to help you with your case.
The Penalties for Gun Possession in Chicago
Illinois law prohibits you from illegally having a gun on your person at any time. If you are caught unlawfully carrying a gun, you may face the following charges:
Possession of a Firearm
The charge of possession of a firearm can be a felony or a misdemeanor. If you are facing this charge for a second time, you can be charged with a Class 3 felony. Felonious acts in this class are punishable by two to five years in prison.
However, if it is your first time facing a charge of this nature, but you still knowingly had a firearm on your person, the charge will be a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a fine of $2,500.
Possession of a Firearm in a Location that Sells Alcohol
The possession of a firearm in a location that is licensed to sell alcohol such as a liquor store, bar, or restaurant is a Class 4 felony. This violation carries a prison sentence up to three years.
Possession of a Machine Gun
A machine gun is an automatic firearm that is capable of sustained rapid fire as long as the trigger is pressed. If you meaningfully have one on your person, you can be charged with a Class 2 felony which carries a sentence up to seven years in prison, and that is if the gun is not loaded.
If loaded, the charge is bumped up to a Class X felony and you can face up to 30 years behind bars.
Possession of a Firearm while Hooded, Robed, or Masked
Article 24 of the Illinois Criminal Code addresses the possession of deadly weapons. If you are in possession of any category of firearm while you are concealing your identity, you can be convicted of a Class 4 felony.
Speak with a Gun Crime Defense Lawyer in Chicago
If you are facing charges of violating Illinois firearm laws, contact the offices of David L. Freidberg immediately. Due to the serious nature of a firearm conviction, you will need an experienced attorney to answer your questions and build a strong defense.
Schedule your free consultation or call (312) 560-7100 today to protect your legal rights.
(image courtesy of Quentin Kemmel)