Illinois has strict regulations on the possession, sale and use of firearms and other weapons, and violating them can result in serious consequences. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common weapons-related charges.
Unlawful use of weapons
This offense covers a wide range of prohibited conduct involving weapons, such as carrying or possessing a firearm without a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card or a concealed carry license, carrying or possessing a firearm in a prohibited place (such as a school, church or public park) or carrying or possessing a firearm with intent to use it unlawfully against another person. It also includes possessing a silencer, machine gun or other illegal weapon.
UUW is usually a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. However, UUW can be elevated to a Class 4 felony (1 to 3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000) or higher, depending on the circumstances. These circumstances include the location of the offense, criminal history of the offender or the presence of aggravating factors (such as gang affiliation or committing another felony while armed).
Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon
This offense is similar to UUW, but involves carrying or possessing a loaded firearm on or about one’s person or in a vehicle without a valid FOID card or concealed carry license. AUUW is a Class 4 felony, but can be enhanced to a Class 2 felony (3 to 7 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000) if the offender has a prior conviction for UUW, AUUW or certain other felonies.
Unlawful possession of firearms by felons
This offense prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a felony from possessing any firearm or ammunition. This offense is a Class 3 felony (2 to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000), but can be increased to a Class 2 felony if the offender has been convicted of certain violent or drug-related felonies.
Unlawful sale or delivery of firearms
This offense prohibits anyone from selling, delivering, transferring or giving any firearm or ammunition to anyone who is not eligible to possess them under state or federal law. This offense is a Class 4 felony, but can be upgraded to a Class 3 felony if the firearm or ammunition is sold, delivered, transferred or given to a minor under 18 years old.
Reckless discharge of a firearm
This offense prohibits anyone from discharging a firearm in a reckless manner that endangers the bodily safety of another person. This offense is a Class 4 felony.