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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Understanding Illinois Weapons Offenses

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Illinois weapons laws, DuPage weapons defense lawyerThe State of Illinois boasts some of the toughest gun-control laws in the country. In 2010, a controversial case stemming from Illinois litigation led to the United States Supreme Court. This decision, McDonald v. Chicago, placed an emphasis on Second Amendment Rights (where we get the “right to bear arms” from) and shut down what had been a long-standing ban on gun possession in certain areas. The Illinois legislature responded by implementing more stringent requirements for gun ownership, including requiring background checks, fingerprinting, fees, and mandatory gun training classes.

Despite the rules presently in place, gun violence is still a monumental problem on our Chicago streets. With more than 500 murders taking place on Chicago streets in 2012 alone, Chicago has some of the highest gun offense numbers in the country. Not only are the numbers high regarding murder rate, but also for unregistered weapons and unlawful possession. Also of grave concern is the fact that up to 60 percent of the unregistered or unlawfully obtained weapons found in Illinois are actually coming from other states, meaning it’s not necessarily that Illinois gun control laws are not working, but that people are still able to find ways around the laws.

Gun Charges in Illinois

Being convicted of a crime may severely limit or entirely ban you from being able to own a gun in the future. To lawfully obtain a firearm in Illinois, you must obtain a FOID card, or a “Firearm Owners Identification” card. You must also register your weapon after obtaining it. You may not be able to obtain a FOID card in certain circumstances, for example, if you:

  • Are a convicted felon;
  • Have been convicted of acts of domestic violence;
  • Have, in the past five years, been convicted of assault or battery, or been a patient in a mental institution; or
  • Are an illegal immigrant.

Even if you do not meet these limitations, factors such as age, jurisdiction, and the types of weapons you wish to obtain may set additional limitations as well. Often, people are charged with weapons violations when they:

  • Possess guns that are not registered to them;
  • Do not have the proper FOID card identification;
  • Possess guns when they are not permitted to by law; or
  • Do not stay current with their registration information.

Many of these charges may be avoidable simply by learning and understanding the relevant Illinois gun laws. Ensuring you do everything necessary to lawfully own a firearm will ensure you do not lose your rights to have one in the future.

Illinois Weapons Charge Criminal Defense Attorneys

At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., we understand your desire to exercise your Second Amendment rights. Our experienced DuPage County weapons charge attorneys are familiar with the ins-and-outs of the criminal justice system, and can work with local prosecutors to get your charges reduced or possibly dismissed in certain circumstances. We understand the laws surrounding gun ownership can be confusing, and we will explain to you what you need to know to ensure you will be in compliance in the future. If you or anyone you know has been charged with a weapons-related offense in DuPage, Kane, Cook, or Will County, do not hesitate to contact us at 630-472-9700 today.

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