Firearms Charges In Chicago Can Mean Harsher Punishment
The Chicago Police Department prioritizes arrests for firearms violations. Firearms offenses are frequently part of other charges. This enhances the penalties that apply to an initial charge. The use of a weapon often changes the offense to a felony, which means stiffer penalties.
The first step in avoiding trouble with the law is to obtain proper state licensing. The Illinois State Police (ISP) issues Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) cards and Concealed Carry Licenses (CCL) to qualifying state residents. The FOID card is the key identifier for eligible residents to acquire, possess, and use firearms and ammunition. The CCL permits a gun owner to carry their firearm concealed.
It is critical to have a FOID card and CCL for carrying a loaded gun. Otherwise, even without a criminal record, the court could order one to three years as a sentence without the alternative of probation. If the firearm is unloaded, the penalty could be probation or one to three years in prison. A felony background could increase the sentence to three to seven years.
Unlawful possession of a firearm can be charged as a felony if you do not have a FOID card, you have a criminal record of a felony conviction or you are under 21 years old. Without a criminal record, you could be facing a Class A misdemeanor and possibly up to one year in the Cook County jail.
Under the current global pandemic, the governor’s executive order to wear a mask does not affect those legally carrying firearms, stun guns, tasers or firearm ammunition.
Purchasing A Firearm
There is a mandatory 72-hour waiting period for all firearm purchases, including handguns.
There are strict limits on firearms ownership for those:
- Convicted of a felony, domestic battery, assault, aggravated assault and other violent crimes
- Subject to a protective order or in violation of a protective order
- Addicted to narcotics
- Mentally or intellectually disabled
- Dishonorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces
- Certain delinquent minors
ISP typically declines to issue FOID cards in these situations.
Types Of The State’s Illegal Firearms
While the Second Amendment protects your right to gun ownership, there are restrictions on the kinds of firearms permissible. Class 3 felony charges may apply for possession of illegal firearms such as:
- Firearm silencer or suppressor: Probation or two to five years in prison
- Sawed-off shotgun with a barrel measuring 18 inches or less: Probation or two to five years in prison
- Modified or altered rifle measuring less than 26 inches: Probation or two to five years in prison
- Unloaded automatic weapon or machine gun: Three to seven years in prison; no probation
- Automatic weapon loaded and in a car: Six to 30 years in prison; no probation
- Defacing a serial number: Probation or two to five years in prison
Call Us Today And Protect Your Right To Bear Arms
Weapons offenses are an intricate weave of local, state, and federal gun possession regulations, and trafficking and violent crime charges. At C. Norris Law Group, we will aggressively defend you when you are facing weapons charges. Call 312-625-6129 or email us for a consultation.