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Understanding Gun Laws in Chicago and the State of Illinois

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Illinois gun charge attorneyMass shootings occur with alarming regularity in the United States, and the most recent incident, in which a gunman opened fire on a crowd in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, resulted in 58 deaths and 546 injuries. In the aftermath of this tragedy, debate about gun laws and gun control has resumed, and politicians and pundits have brought up a familiar talking point, stating that the city of Chicago has strict gun laws, but also a high rate of homicides. But while this is something that is often asserted, is it actually true?

In order to clear up confusion about this issue and provide some context about the weapons charges people may face, here is some information about the laws concerning gun ownership in Chicago and the state of Illinois:

Weapons Licenses

While Chicago did place a ban on the sale and registration of handguns in 1982, this ban was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010. Following the passage of a new law by the Illinois General Assembly in 2013, concealed carry of firearms is now legal in Illinois, bringing the state’s gun laws in line with much of the rest of the country. Under Illinois law, the sale and ownership of firearms is legal throughout the state, with the following conditions:

  • Before purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition, Illinois residents must apply for a firearm owner’s identification (FOID) card. FOID holders must be over the age of 21 or have the written consent of their parent or legal guardian.

  • The following people are not eligible for a FOID card:

    • Convicted felons;

    • People who are intellectually or developmentally disabled;

    • Drug addicts;

    • Illegal immigrants;

    • People convicted of domestic battery;

    • People convicted of a violent crime involving the use of a firearm within the last five years; and

    • People who have been a patient in a mental health facility within the last five years.

  • When purchasing a firearm, someone must show the seller their FOID card. After making the purchase, there is a 72 waiting period for handguns and a 24 hour waiting period for rifles and shotguns before the seller can deliver the weapon to the buyer. Sellers must contact the Illinois State Police to verify the validity of the buyer’s FOID card, and they must keep records of a weapon’s description and serial number and the buyer’s identity and FOID number for 10 years after the date of purchase.

  • FOID card holders can apply for a concealed carry permit, which will allow them to carry a firearm in their vehicle or on their person. Applicants must pass a background check and complete a 16-hour training course.

  • The following people are not eligible for a concealed carry permit:

    • People with two or more DUI convictions within the last five years;

    • People convicted of a misdemeanor involving the use or threat of physical force within the last five years; and

    • People who have been in a court-ordered alcohol or drug treatment program within the last five years.

  • Illinois does not allow the “open carry” of firearms that are visible to the public.

  • While the state of Illinois does not have a ban on assault weapons, ownership of these weapons has been banned in Chicago and Cook County.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Weapons Charges Attorney

If you have been arrested for weapons charges, you need an experienced attorney who understands the applicable local, state, and federal laws and can provide you with the defense you need. Contact the Skokie criminal defense lawyers at Luisi Legal Group at 773-276-5541 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1657&ChapterID=39

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-gun-laws-explainer-20171006-story.html

https://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-gun-laws/illinois/

http://www.dailyherald.com/news/20171005/4-things-to-know-about-illinois-gun-laws

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