The state of Illinois is serious about its weapons laws – and if you’ve ever been hit with a gun or weapon charge in Chicago, you understand how serious the consequences of a conviction can be.
But what are Illinois’ weapons laws, and how could they affect you?
Illinois Gun Laws
The gun laws in Illinois are some of the strictest in the nation, and in order to even possess a firearm, you must have a firearm owner’s identification card. (There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, you must have a FOID card to own or purchase a firearm, ammunition, Tasers or stun guns.)
You can be charged with a crime if you:
- Possess or use a weapon without a FOID card
- Discharge a firearm into a building, in another person’s direction or toward a vehicle
- Discharge a firearm recklessly
- Use a weapon during the commission of a crime
You also can’t have or use metal-piercing or explosive bullets, sell a firearm without a permit or carry a gun if you’ve been convicted of a felony. Further, if you’ve been a patient in a mental health facility or you are a drug addict – or if you are under the influence of drugs – you aren’t legally allowed to have a gun.
If you are transporting any firearm, it must be unloaded and enclosed in a case, and you must have a valid FOID card.
What to Do if You Are Arrested for an Alleged Gun Crime
If police arrest you for an alleged gun crime in the state of Illinois, it may be a good idea to get in touch with a Chicago criminal defense lawyer who understands our gun laws and how they apply in your case.
Remember that you have the right to remain silent and that you have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. Your lawyer can help ensure that your rights are preserved and answer any questions you may have.