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Downers Grove weapons charges defense lawyerFirearm safety and gun laws are hot-button topics in America due to the high number of shootings that have occurred over the last couple of decades. Though many are advocating for the tightening of gun regulations across the nation, it is difficult to accomplish this when gun laws differ so significantly from state to state and situation to situation. Firearm owners should be sure to understand their gun rights as an Illinois resident or non-resident in order to avoid the possibility of facing weapons charges

Resident Rights

Obtaining the ability to legally carry and use a gun in Illinois is a fairly lengthy process. Residents planning to own firearms must acquire a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. This is issued by the Illinois State Police after completing the application process and a required course. After receiving a FOID card and purchasing a gun, there is a 72-hour waiting period in order to earn possession of the firearm. 

Having a FOID card does not allow Illinois residents to walk around public areas while carrying guns. A concealed carry license is necessary in the state of Illinois. This is another process that requires the completion of a 16-hour training course. Applicants must be at least 21 years old. After obtaining a concealed carry license, Illinois residents must abide by the following regulations:

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concealed-carry-illinoisIllinois is well-known for some of the strictest gun-control regimes in the country. Being the last state in the U.S. to enact concealed carry laws created a fear of widespread weapon proliferation and increased street violence. Officials issued nearly 100,000 permits in 2014, after a thorough investigation of applicants’ histories and fingerprint scans. Though critics question the correlation between concealed carry rights and decreasing violent crime rates in Illinois, the latter has been proven true in 2014. Whether coincidence or not, crime rates are dropping throughout Illinois.

Concealed Carry Permits

One reason to question the connection between concealed carry rights and lower crime rates is due to the fact that many criminals do not lawfully possess their weapons in the first place. One Illinois police sergeant pointed out that “[w]hen you’re talking concealed-carry, it’s mostly your law-abiding citizens, who don’t cause problems anyway.” Thus, many of the weapons involved in investigated crimes are either borrowed, stolen, or from a black market, making tracking the ownership of the weapon difficult if not impossible.

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