Chicago Gun Crime Lawyer
Felony Weapon Possession Attorney in Illinois
The gun possession and carrying laws of Illinois are both somewhat lenient compared to other states but also uniquely complex. With gray areas in the law and the introduction of Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) requirements, it is easy to see how many people could find themselves arrested and charged with a gun crime without ever knowing they were doing something wrong. If you are facing criminal charges for your possession or sale of a firearm in Illinois, you could be hit with strict penalties upon conviction.
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Can a Felon Own a Gun in Illinois?
Anyone who wants to possess and carry a firearm of any sort in Illinois must first obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID). A person convicted of a felony crime is not able to obtain a FOID and cannot buy or own a gun.
Without a FOID, it is a criminal offense to possess a gun, even in your own home. Handgun licenses from other states are not recognized by Illinois law, either.
Can a Felon Get a FOID Card in Illinois?
In order to get a FOID, you must:
- Be 21+ or 18+ with express written consent from a parent
- Be a United States citizen
- Meet all federal firearm possession requirements
- Not be a convicted felon
- Not be addicted to most controlled dangerous substances (CDS)
- Not be “mentally impaired”
FOID Vs. Concealed Carry Permit
It should be noted that obtaining a FOID is not the same as obtaining a concealed carry permit. Many people in Illinois make this mistake and inadvertently break the law, thinking that they had the right to conceal the weapon on their person or in their vehicle. Additionally, no firearms require registration with the state; if you have been arrested for not registering your firearm, this could indicate a serious violation of your rights.
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Gun crimes are currently one of the most controversial forms of criminal violations in the country. Society and law enforcement may be overzealous when it comes to penalizing people for potential crimes. If your Second Amendment right to possess firearms is being infringed upon by unjust criminal charges, let our Chicago gun crime lawyers stand up for you before the court. If there is one thing we believe in here at Pissetzky Law LLC, it is that an attorney should never back down from a fight when their clients’ freedoms are on the line.
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Firearm Felony Possession Penalties
As drastic as the aforementioned penalties for illegally possessing a firearm may seem, they are generally used for first-time offenders and for people who could have been eligible to possess a FOID but did not do so for whatever reason. If you are convicted subsequent times for the same violation, it will be considered a felony, which includes escalated penalties.
The penalties for felony possession of a firearm vary depending on whether the person is or is not a convicted felon, and whether they are in or out of prison. Keep in mind that, according to 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1(e):
- “The possession of each firearm or firearm ammunition in violation of this Section constitutes a single and separate violation.”
A first-time weapon possession offense is also considered a felony without a FOID and are no longer eligible to obtain one through legal channels.
Felony Gun Possession Sentence
In addition to a $25,000 fine, you could be penalized with up to five years in prison with a 2-year minimum sentence. Repeat violations of felony gun possession with no eligibility for a FOID can sentence you to 30 years in prison for a minimum of six years.
- Class 3 Felony Possession of a Firearm - A person commits a Class 3 felony when he or she is found in possession of a firearm and is not confined in a penal institution. 2 – 10 years in prison.
- Class 2 Felony Possession of a Firearm - A person commits a class 2 felony if he or she is not confined to a penal institution and has committed: found with a firearm when on parole, found with a firearm when on mandatory supervised release, repeat offense of possession of a firearm by a felon, a forcible felony, a felony in violation of 720 ILCS 5/24, a felony in violation of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act, stalking or aggravated stalking, a class 2/greater drug related felony. 3 – 14 years in prison.
- Class 1 Felony Possession of a Firearm - A person commits a Class 1 felony if he or she is confined in a penal institution and is found in possession of any weapon prohibited in 720 ILCS 5/25-1, regardless of the intent with which he or she possesses it. 4 – 15 years in prison.
Class X Felony Possession of a Firearm
"Class X" firearm possession felonies carry up to 30 years in prison when in possession of a machine gun outside a penal institution; or are in possession of a firearm, ammunition, or explosives inside of a penal institution. In addition, the individual may be charged with up to 50 years in prison if they are in possession of a machine gun inside of a penal institution.
Lastly, if the individual is wearing body armor in conjunction with any of these above stated felonies they have committed a class x felony ( 720 ILCS 5/33F-1). The penalty for any of these offenses while wearing body armor may be up to 40 years in prison. Firearm Sales in Illinois
People and businesses that want to openly sell firearms must be licensed to do so. Before a purchaser can be handed their weapon, they and the seller must comply with a mandatory waiting period of 24 hours for rifles and shotguns and 72 hours for handguns and pistols. Firearms dealers may run into legal trouble due to the definition of certain weapons that can be difficult to categorize as a handgun or rifle.
Illinois does allow private persons or parties to sell or transfer firearms with little oversight. The only requirement for most private gun transactions is the notification of the Department of State Police (DSP), and this is only if the purchaser has not yet been licensed. The seller must supply the DSP with their own FOID number and the identification of the purchaser. If the DSP does approve of the sale, it may be conducted within 30 days. There is an online FOID directory for state residence convenience.
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