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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, concealed carry law, Illinois Defense LawyerNearly two years ago, the Illinois became the last state in the country to enact a concealed carry law, which permits appropriately licensed residents to carry a concealed firearm within the state. Enacted in 2013 and taking effect in 2014, the legislation is known as Firearm Concealed Carry Act and supporters insist the law simply recognized rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. To members of law enforcement organizations, however, the Act created a whole new set of challenges, which include conducting traffic stops of legally armed Illinois citizens.

Even as the legislation was being drafted and reviewed, law enforcement officials looked ahead to potential dangers. They pointed out that any interaction with an individual legally carrying a concealed firearm would carry an increased risk of escalation simply to due the existence and proximity of the weapon. Kevin McClain, director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, acknowledged at the time, however, that law-abiding citizens may just be exercising their Second Amendment right, and that police officers need to be “a little more savvy in approaching someone” so a mutual level of respect can be maintained.

One of the provisions that law enforcement officials were hoping to get included in the concealed carry law was a requirement for legally carrying individuals to announce their permit status during a traffic stop. To the disappointment of some, including Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, the provision was not enacted in the law. “It was something that we felt strongly about collectively that would help,” Dart said.

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Illinois weapons defense, DuPage County criminal lawyerMere possession of weapons can have a detrimental effect on your future if you are one of the thousands of individuals that is not permitted to carry a weapon under the law. While everyone has a right to bear arms, this right may be taken away or limited by the government if you are a convicted felon, faced domestic violence charges, are mentally incompetent, or have other previous offenses the government deems makes you unfit to carry freely.

Limitations on Carrying Generally

Consider also that such restrictions mean you cannot carry any enumerated weapon under the law, legal or illegal. If you were carrying unlawful weapons before, these restrictions do not mean now you can only carry lawful ones. Illinois places restrictions on items such as automatic firearms, silencers, or short-barreled shotguns generally. Just because someone is willing to sell you a weapon does not mean you are allowed to possess it, even if it is something a non-felon could lawfully own.

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Illinois concealed carryIn July 2013, Illinois legislators enacted a conceal and carry law which, as its name suggests, allows Illinois residents to conceal and carry certain automatic weapons. The law made national news because Illinois was the last state in the country to enact such a law.

When the online application for a conceal and carry permit became active, 11,000 Illinois residents applied. Of these applications, several were denied, and at least 200 individuals have brought their objections to state court. Many rejected permit applicants want to appeal the denials because the applicants believe they were unfairly deemed a threat to public safety and consequently should not have been denied a permit.

Police Department Responds

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crime in warm weatherAs warmer weather finally begins to reach the state of Illinois, residents call to mind thoughts of upcoming barbecues, festivals, parties and camping trips. Speaking from a defense attorney’s perspective though, warmer weather also brings about something else: a rise in violent crime.

Recent studies suggest that the rise in temperature in seasonal climates like Illinois accompanies a rise in violent crimes such as murder, rapes, assaults, and thefts. One study even goes so far as to suggest the temperature increase due to warming would trigger violent crimes to rise by one to three percent over the next century, with social costs estimated to run as high as $115 billion.

Increase in violent crime rates in warmer weather may occur for a variety of reasons. First, summer gatherings beget more opportunities for socializing, which in turn leads to a rise in social confrontations and tension. Second, given that a large percentage of violent crimes are perpetuated by juveniles, the onset of summer break may be another factor that contributes to the rise in crime. Third, police officers, like most other Illinois residents, simply enjoy the nice weather. Officers are more likely to work overtime, be more attentive while working, and accept assignments patrolling high crime areas, often by foot.

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Posted on in Drug Crimes

The Chicago Tribune recently reported a story about a pharmacy technician, who is facing thirteen drug charges after the police found marijuana and over 2,300 prescription pills in her car. The medication uncovered in her car included Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, and Adderall. The pharmacy technician admitted to selling the medication on the streets for profit.

On August 2, the Lake County Sheriff's department responded to a call about a reckless driver and a black Toyota matching the description was found parked at a McDonald's parking lot in Volo, says a news release from the Lake County Sheriff's office. The officers approaching the vehicle smelled burning marijuana and noticed a clear plastic bag containing marijuana inside the car, says the release.

The driver of the black Toyota, Holland R. Hernandez, 26, was taken into custody, and the police searched her car. The search left the police with more than 2,300 prescription pills and over $4,700 in cash, in addition to the marijuana. The police also found a shotgun with ammunition shells attached to the weapon in the trunk of Hernandez's car.

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The Chicago Tribune reported a story about a middle-aged woman who was abducted from a Blue Line train in Chicago. Police are looking for information from the public to help them find the two men in their twenties who forced the 52-year-old woman off the train at gunpoint. The men took the woman to a nearby apartment and assaulted her sexually.

The woman met the two men when she got on a CTA train on the West Side at 530 South Kedzie Avenue on July 30 around 6:30 p.m., the police say. At the Northwest Side California stop, 2211 N. California Avenue, the woman was forced off the train at gunpoint, and after that the men took their victim to an apartment in the 2800 block of West Lyndale Street where the sexual assault took place, according to the alert from Area North Detectives.

Police released descriptions for the men, hoping the public would have information about the crime. Both attackers were black men in their twenties, 5& 10” and 6 feet tall, and weigh between 150 and 160 pounds. More detailed descriptions and contact information for Area North detectives can be found in the original Chicago Tribune story.

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In Illinois, the Child Passenger Protection Act guidelines state that all children under the age of eight must be secured in a child safety seat. When police saw a car full of people with two children in the vehicle who were not in car seats or wearing seat belts, they immediately pulled the driver over. Officers were shocked at what they discovered. One of the children, a three year old girl, was holding what turned out to be loaded handgun.

When one of the officers tried to coax the weapon away from her, the child threw the gun to the floor of the vehicle. The weapon was identified as a 9 mm handgun and contained eight live rounds. Police reported that at no time did the gun discharge.

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Lorenzo Bracey was all set for his prom. He had the clothes – a white tuxedo with a gray and black vest, a white shirt and the wheels to get there. The problem, police say, was the way he obtained his transportation. Bracey, 20, ‘reserved’ the vehicle by stealing the SUV from its owner at gunpoint.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Bracey carjacked the maroon 1997 Ford Expedition earlier that morning, in the 1200 block of South Independence Boulevard. About ten hours later, the owner of the vehicle spotted it parked at a McDonald’s less than a mile away from where it had been stolen.

When the police arrived, they found Bracey still at the restaurant, all dressed in his tux. He told them he was planning to attend prom that night; however the report did not specify where the prom was being held or who he was planning on attending it with.

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