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Can felons own a firearm?

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2020 | Weapons Offenses |

The right to own a firearm is a guarantee in the U.S. Constitution, but if you have a felony charge on your criminal record, you lose that right. According to FindLaw, convicted felons in Illinois cannot own or have in their possession any type of firearm. 

In addition, you cannot own or possess ammunition for a firearm even if you do not have the firearm in your possession. 


The restriction on your rights applies no matter where you received your felony charge. For example, if your charge and conviction happened in Ohio and you later moved to Illinois, you still face the firearm ban. 


You can potentially have your rights restored. You must petition the Director of the Department of State Police. 


If you are in possession of a firearm, you will face an additional felony charge. The initial charge for most people is a class 3 felony that comes with a minimum of two years in prison. You could get a maximum of 10 years in prison. 

If this is not your first offense, then you face a prison sentence of at least three years, but you could get up to 14 years. 

If your original felony charge was for a crime involving force or certain drug charges, then your first offense carries a minimum of three years in prison with a maximum possibility of 14 years. You could face the same sentence if you are parole or probation when you receive the firearm possession charge. Both instances are a class 2 felony. 

Finally, you face a class X felony with much stiffer sentences if the gun in question is a machine gun. The minimum sentence is 12 years, and the maximum you could get is 50 years. If you were wearing body armor at the time, you face a minimum of 10 years up to a maximum of 40 years.