What happens if I am caught with an illegal firearm?
The issue of gun control remains a hot topic in the United States due to the thousands of firearm deaths that occur each year. In Illinois, only people who have a Firearm Owner’s Identification card are permitted to own a firearm. To carry a concealed firearm, you must be granted an additional license to do so. State police will issue you a license if you are at least 21 years of age and have passed the requisite training course.
Unlawful possession of a firearm could result in felony or misdemeanor charges depending on the specifics of your case. A criminal defense attorney can review the facts of your case and protect your rights in court. According to Illinois law, if you have a gun in your possession but do not have a currently valid FOID card, you will most likely face a Class A misdemeanor charge, assuming that you would qualify for a FOID card at the time. This means you could face up to a year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
However, if you have a gun in your possession but would not qualify for an FOID card, you could face a Class 3 felony charge. If convicted, you may face up to five years in jail and up to $25,000 in fines. An Illinois resident caught illegally transporting a firearm in a vehicle could face a Class 4 felony charge, resulting in up to three years in jail and up to $25,000.
Unlawful firearm possession is a serious crime in Illinois and firearm owners need to make sure they are always acting in accordance with state law. However, firearm laws can be complex and mistakes do happen. If you are charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, you should consider contacting a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.