Chicago has some of the strictest gun possession laws in the United States, notwithstanding the high rates of violent crime in the city.
This means you can be facing a long stretch in jail if you are convicted of a crime like possessing a firearm or concealing a weapon in public.
Last year, as gun crimes rocketed in Chicago, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner approved a new law that imposes a stiff penalty on anyone who brings a gun into the state without a gun-owner identification card.
The law was strengthened amid fears firearms are coming in from neighboring Indiana which has laxer gun laws than Illinois.
The crime is now a felony that carries a prison sentence of four to 20 years. Repeat offenders could be locked up for as long as 30 years.
The 2016 measure was a major strengthening of the law. Previously, gun owners apprehended for the first time without proper ID were charged with a misdemeanor and typically ended up serving less than a year. Repeat offenders would get up to five years.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said the new law was targeting crime in Chicago. In 2016, Chicago registered 767 gun killings, making it the deadliest year in almost two decades. The guns in about 60 percent of the gun crimes were bought out of state, Durkin said.
In Chicago, you must have a firearm owner’s identification card, or FOID card, if you have a firearm in your home or your car.
Even the incorrect transportation of a gun with a valid FOID card is a crime. Illinois law states a firearm must be enclosed in a case or another container. It also must not be loaded.
You can be charged with a gun crime if you are carrying an uncased firearm under the seat of your car or in your glove compartment.
Unlawful use of a weapon in Illinois is a Class 4 felony. You can be sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison.
You should be aware that traffic stops can quickly escalate in Illinois. Often the cops pull over a driver for a traffic violation and discover a weapon being improperly transported or one belonging to someone who lacks a valid FOID card.
Suddenly, you will find you have been charged with a felony and are being taken to jail.
If you are not from the State of Illinois you may not understand the severity of these laws. As a convicted felon, you will be barred from gun ownership for the rest of your life.
Gun crimes of these nature can be extremely complex. Don’t really on your instinct to fight these charges.
Abdallah Law can help you. Contact us here for a free evaluation.