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Tag Archives: Illinois weapon possession laws

DuPage County weapons charges defense attorneyLike many states across the United States, Illinois has strict gun laws in place that are meant to protect its citizens. To legally possess or purchase a firearm, you must obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card and meet all eligibility requirements. Even then, there are many rules that you must follow when owning and possessing a firearm. Other weapons, such as knives, brass knuckles or bludgeons, are strictly regulated in Illinois. If you are charged with unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) in Illinois, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the situation. 

Misdemeanor UUW Charges

In certain situations, a UUW will result in a misdemeanor charge. You can be charged with a UUW misdemeanor if you:

  • Sell, manufacture, purchase or possess a black-jack, slung-shot, bludgeon, sand bag, knuckle weapon, sand-club, ballistic knife, or switchblade knife;

  • Carry or possess with the intent to use a dirk, dagger, dangerous knife, stiletto, billy, razor, broken bottle or piece of glass, taser or stun gun, or any other dangerous weapon;

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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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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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