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Category Archives: Weapons Charges

Wheaton IL gun charges lawyerThe United States has a long history with firearms: for as long as we have been a country, firearms have been present. The U.S. Constitution specifically guarantees citizens the right to bear arms, though that right can be restricted if states deem it necessary. 

Illinois has some of the most strict gun laws in the country. The city of Chicago did not even allow residents to own firearms until 2010, and it was not until 2013 that the state began allowing residents to carry concealed weapons. Violating Illinois weapons laws can come with serious consequences. 

Here are a few things you may not have known about Illinois gun laws:

1, You Must Have a FOID Card to Legally Possess a Firearm

The state of Illinois requires you to apply for and receive a firearm owner identification (FOID) card before you are legally able to purchase or possess a firearm. If you possess a firearm without also possessing a valid FOID card, you can face up to five years in state prison. To obtain a FOID card, you must also meet certain criteria, including not having been convicted of a felony, not being addicted to narcotics and not having been admitted to a mental facility in the past five years.

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Wheaton IL weapons charges attorney.jpgIn the state of Illinois, if you are in possession of a firearm, you must also be in possession of an Illinois firearm ownership identification card (FOID). It is illegal for you to own or be in possession of a firearm without a FOID card. Though the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms, the Illinois State Police reserves the right to revoke or suspend your FOID card at any time if you violate ownership rules or if you become ineligible for a FOID card. Having your FOID card suspended or revoked comes with a laundry list of things you must do to comply with the suspension or revocation, and if you do not comply with those requirements, you could be facing serious charges.

Notice of Revocation

There is a multitude of reasons that your FOID card can be revoked. Some of those reasons include:

  • You were convicted of a misdemeanor other than a traffic offense, and you are under the age of 21;
  • You were convicted of a felony;
  • You are addicted to narcotics; and
  • You were convicted of domestic battery after 2012.

If your FOID card is revoked, you will be notified in writing by the Illinois State Police. The notice will go into detail as to why your card has been revoked. The notice will also include a list of the requirements you must comply with.

Revocation Requirements

Once you have received your revocation notice, you have 48 hours to complete the requirements that you were given. First, you have to surrender your FOID card to your local law enforcement agency. You will receive a receipt that you have surrendered your card, and your local agency will send your card to the state police.

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IL defense lawyerWeapons charges in Illinois has potentially severe criminal penalties. Punishments run anywhere from a misdemeanor to a Class X felony depending on a variety of factors of the case, resulting in fines to potential jail or prison sentences. These factors include the location of the alleged crime, the number, and type of weapons involved, and the severity of any injuries incurred. Many cases become exacerbated by any previous criminal history or if other charges accompany the weapons charge. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is not a good excuse in many weapon-related cases. If you face a weapons charge in Illinois, it is a good idea to understand your accusations.

Reckless Discharge of a Firearm (720 ILCS 5/24-1.5)

This law applies to instances when a suspect fires a gun in a reckless manner which endangers the safety of another individual. The code does not explicitly indicate what qualifies as “reckless,” leaving it up to the judgment of the arresting officer and the court. If the suspect were a passenger in a moving vehicle, both the passenger and the driver would receive the charge. If convicted, the resulting penalty is a Class 4 felony which is punishable by one to three years in prison.

Unlawful Use of a Weapon (UUW) (720 ILCS 5/24-1)

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concealed carry, concealed carry mistakes, Wheaton weapon charges defense attorney, concealed carry license, weapons chargesThere are over 16 million active concealed carry licenses in the United States; almost 250,000 are Illinois licenses. With all of these licenses comes the responsibility to adhere to both local and state laws, without putting anyone in danger. Mistakes are common, especially in the period shortly following licensure. However, when armed with a deadly weapon, these mistakes must be eliminated or kept to a minimum. Concealed carry mistakes can be harmless, but they could also be fatal under the right circumstances. Avoid potentially severe implications by avoiding these common carry errors.

Exposing Your Weapon

Concealed carry is precisely that: concealed. Therefore, if you are wearing your firearm on your body, ensure it remains hidden at all times. Also, be cautious of printing, which is when a shirt presses against a weapon leaving a print, making everyone aware of the gun's presence. Although this mistake happens without malicious intent, it is best to avoid it. Most people are oblivious to their surroundings; however, if you bend over and your weapon flashes, someone may notice. When a person does notice, and it takes him or her by surprise, the following call to emergency services is likely panicked and will result in a swarm of police officers.

Checking or Touching Your Firearm

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DuPage County weapons charge defense attorney, gun laws, Illinois crime rate, gun control debate, weapons chargesThe laws surrounding firearms are under constant debate. Social media and politicians alike frequently use Chicago’s notorious criminal history to their advantage in an attempt to sway voters. Somehow, Chicago simultaneously falls on both sides of the gun control debate as a demonstration of the effectiveness of harsher firearm regulations. Meanwhile, Illinois residents find themselves in the middle of this countrywide argument and are left wondering how all of the changes affect current weapons charges.

How Does Illinois Rank?

Chicago became the center of debate once again after a speech claimed that not only did Chicago have the strictest gun laws in the country, but it also has the worst gun violence. Having the most stringent gun laws in the country may have once been valid; however, this is no longer the case.

In 2010, handguns once again became legal within the state followed by the cessation of the state gun law registry in 2013. Without these two laws, Illinois ranks as number 8.

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