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What Are The Common Guns And Weapons Charges That You Handle?


My firm handles all types of weapons charges. Misdemeanor charges are sometimes called Unlawful Use of Weapons or just shortened to UUW. Misdemeanor charges in Illinois can include possession of items such as a blackjack, brass knuckles, or switchblade knives. A felony gun or weapons charge is usually called Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon. Examples of that would include possession of a gun or firearm without a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card or carrying a firearm without a concealed carry license or possession of a machine gun.

What Are The Laws Regulating Gun Possession In Illinois?

In Illinois, in order to possess any kind of a firearm, you first have to apply for and obtain a Firearm Owners Identification Card, or F-O-I-D for short. Basically it’s a state-issued ID card, which requires a background check. The FOID card application also asks if the applicant has ever been institutionalized for mental illness, if they are addicted to narcotics, or subject to an order of protection. You may possess a weapon with a FOID card at your home, place of business, and while the weapon is properly broken down and stored in your vehicle, but a FOID card does not allow concealed carry.

Illinois also does not permit open carry of a firearm under any circumstance except by law enforcement. Illinois does have a concealed carry license, which can be applied for, and this license would allow concealed carry of a pistol on your person and in your vehicle, basically anywhere it is not specifically prohibited by statute. In order to obtain a concealed carry license, you have to take a 16-hour course and show a minimum proficiency in shooting ability, as well as submit to a background check. There are also some weapons that can be lawfully possessed in other states but cannot be legally possessed in Illinois.

For instance, machine guns that can shoot fully automatic, such as those you see on TV and in the movies, are illegal in Illinois. Also short-barreled rifles and shotguns are illegal in Illinois. Recently, Illinois had legislation that was pending to loosen restrictions on silenced weapons, which are basically firearms equipped with a device that restricts the sound it makes while it discharges.

Does Illinois Recognize Concealed Handgun Licenses From Another State?

Illinois does not recognize any out-of-state concealed carry license or permit, but some states will honor the Illinois concealed carry license. But because the Illinois law on a concealed carry permit is relatively new, this might change over time, and at some point, Illinois may acknowledge and recognize a concealed carry license from another state.

What Is An Unlawful Use Of Weapons Charge In Illinois?

The phrase “Unlawful Use of Weapon” is an awkward phrase, but it’s the actual language from the Illinois Criminal Statute. Most people shorten it to UUW. And lawyers, judges and law enforcement know that when somebody says “UUW,” they are usually talking about a gun case. Most weapons charges in Illinois are felony charges involving firearms and guns. There are misdemeanor weapons charges that can be enforced, involving switchblade knives, blackjacks and brass knuckles although these aren’t seen too often because these items are easy to find and purchase at flea markets but are illegal.

In Illinois, most felony charges involve Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon. In Illinois, it’s illegal to possess a gun without a firearm owner identification card. This is obtained after answering a questionnaire and passing a background check. A FOID card allows a person to purchase firearms and ammunition. The FOID card also allows the person to possess a gun on their property or place of business, as well as in the car if it’s properly broken down and stored.

Many aggravated UUW charges are situations where a person is carrying a gun in their car or on their person. A FOID card does not permit those types of carry; a concealed carry permit is required for this. Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon generally is a Class IV felony, which carries a potential sentence of one to three years in prison. Some Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons charges cannot receive probation. Also in Illinois, felons are not allowed to possess guns or firearms. Possession of a firearm by a felon is a special Class III felony that has a sentencing range of two to 10 years, and probation is not available.

Most aggravated unlawful weapons charges involving a firearm are going to be Class IV felonies, which carry a sentence of one to three years. Some can receive probation; some cannot. Possession by a felon is a Class III felony, which has a mandatory sentence of two to 10 years.

For more information on Guns & Weapons Charges in Illinois, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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