Illinois Gun Control Laws
There is a common misconception the supposed progressive states in the northeast have the country’s harshest gun laws. People also tend to assume states in the northeast have comparably stiff penalties for violating those laws. Illinois has some of the country’s toughest weapons violations penalties. The law details how guns are to be purchased, stored and used. Ideally, you will not carry your gun on your person, especially if you are in Chicago. Let’s take a deeper look at the issue of gun control in Illinois and the penalties for weapons violations.
How to Legally Possess a Firearm in the State of Illinois
Illinois residents who have a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card are permitted to legally own a gun. However, the FOID card alone does not mean it is legal to carry a firearm on your person at all times. You should not carry your gun unless it is stored in the appropriate case and in a manner in which it cannot be fired. Ideally, you will not carry your gun on your person unless you are driving to a firing range or putting your belongings in a container for a move.
If you decide to carry a gun in Chicago, you will need a concealed carry permit. However, there are still some locations and situations in which it is illegal to carry a weapon. If you are slapped with weapons charges, reach out to a gun crime defense attorney as soon as possible for legal assistance.
Illinois Weapons Violations Penalties: Possession of a Firearm
Illinois law bars residents from illegally possessing a gun on their person. Those caught illegally possessing a gun can be subjected to a number of charges. One of the most common gun charges is the possession of a firearm. This charge can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. If facing this charge a second time, it is possible to face a Class 3 felony. Felonious acts grouped in this category can be punished by a prison stay between 2-5 years. If this is the first time you are subjected to a charge of this type and you knowingly carried a gun on your person, the charge is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor. This class of misdemeanor is punishable up to 365 days in jail along with a fine of $2,500.
Possessing a Firearm While Masked, Robed or Hooded
Illinois Criminal Code delves into the possession of deadly weapons. Article 24 of this Code explains those in possession of any firearms category when concealing their identity have the potential to be convicted of a Class 4 felony.
Possession of a Machine Gun
Machine guns are particularly dangerous as they fire in an automatic fashion. This type of gun can lick off one shot after another until the shooter releases pressure from the trigger. If you intentionally carry a machine gun on your person, you might be charged with a Class 2 felony with an accompanying sentence upwards of seven years in prison. However, this extreme penalty is only applicable if the gun is not loaded at the time it is found on your person. If the gun is loaded, the charge will be elevated to a Class X felony. If found guilty of a Class X felony, you will face up to three decades behind bars.
Possessing a Firearm in a Facility That Sells Alcoholic Beverages
Possessing a firearm in a location licensed to sell alcoholic drinks is a Class 4 felony. As an example, an individual who carries a gun into a Chicago restaurant or liquor store might be found guilty of this elevated felony class and be subjected to a prison stay of three years.
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