Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country—but if you have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card, or FOID, you’re allowed to possess a gun.
That doesn’t mean you can carry it with you wherever you go, though. Unless you’re transporting your gunfrom one location to another for a valid purpose (like moving, going to the firing range, or something along those lines) and it’s in an appropriate case or broken down in a “non-functioning” state, you can’t carry your weapon around unless you have a concealed carry permit. (Even then, there are lists of places you can’t bring a weapon.)
What is the Penalty for Carrying a Gun in Chicago?
If you’re caught unlawfully carrying a gun in Chicago, Rolling Meadows, Skokie, or any of the surrounding communities, you’re subject to punishment under Illinois law.
Possession of a Firearm
Possession of a firearm can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If it’s your first offense and you “knowingly carry or possess any pistol, revolver, stun gun, taser, or other firearm,” you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in the county jail and a $2,500 fine.
If it’s your second offense, you’re looking at a Class 3 felony. The penalty for a Class 3 felony in Illinois is up to 5 years in prison.
Possession of a Firearm in a Bar or Other Place That Sells Alcohol
If you possess a firearm in a place that’s “licensed to sell intoxicating beverages,” whether it’s a sports bar, a liquor store, or any other place that sells alcohol, it’s a Class 4 felony. A Class 4 felony is punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
Possession of a Machine Gun
If you “knowingly carry or possess any machine gun,” the court can find you guilty of a Class 2 felony. The penalty is up to 7 years in prison. If the machine gun is loaded, you’re looking at a Class X felony—and the penalty for that can be up to 30 years in prison.
Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun
If you “knowingly carry or possess any rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length or a shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches” or another shotgun with an overall length of less than 26 inches, you can be found guilty of a Class 3 felony.
Possession of a Firearm While Hooded, Robed, or Masked
If you possess any firearm of any type while you’re hooded, robed, or masked in a way that could conceal your identity, you can be charged with (and convicted of) a Class 4 felony.
Do You Need to Talk to a Chicago Gun Crime Defense Lawyer?
If you’ve been accused of any type of firearm offense, you may want to talk to a Chicago gun crime defense lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will examine the circumstances of your arrest and find out what happened—and what evidence the prosecution has against you—so he can develop a plan of action that gets you the best possible outcome.