Chicago Criminal Lawyer Talks Illinois Gun Laws

Until recently, many towns and municipalities in Illinois had a ban on handguns. In July 2010, a new Chicago city ordinance took effect that allows limited handgun possession after obtaining a permit from the police and passing a firearms training course and requiring handgun registration. Neighboring communities soon followed and there are no remaining towns in Illinois that ban handguns. The following is a review of basic Illinois gun laws from Chicago criminal lawyer and Chicago attorney, Fred Mark Dry.

Who Can Own a Gun In Illinois?

According to Chicago criminal law attorney Fred Dry, it is unlawful to possess any firearm or ammunition without a valid Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID), issued through the Illinois State Police. You can not own a gun and quality for a FOID if you:

  • Are under the age of 21. Age 18-21 requires consent of qualified parent or guardian.
  • Have any felony convictions.
  • Have any drug addictions.
  • Have been a patient in a mental hospital within the past five years.
  • Have a mental illness.
  • Are not a legal resident of the United States.

Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID)

FOID requirements involve a criminal background check. Individuals with prohibiting factors are disallowed from obtaining a FOID card. To determine all prohibiting factors and to discuss legal issues regarding your FOID card, speak with a competent Chicago criminal lawyer.

To obtain a FOID, you must meet the requirements and will need to provide your Illinois Identification Card number or Illinois driver’s license number on the application. The FOID card allows you to posses, not carry, firearms.

The application will be processed within 30 days and if you are approved, you will be mailed a FOID card. After receiving it, you must sign the card.

FOID cards must be renewed every five years. New Illinois state law, as of January 2011, requires mandatory prison terms of one to three years for adults who do not have a valid FOID card and possess an uncased firearm with ammunition either loaded in the gun or nearby. This means if you are arrested because of an expired FOID card, you will be serving a mandatory prison term.

Illinois Concealed Carry Weapons Permit

Concealed carry, or Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW), refers to the practice of carrying a handgun or other weapon in public in a concealed manner, either on one’s person or in proximity.

In Illinois, it is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm that is concealed in a vehicle or on a person. Exceptions are people who use their firearms on established target ranges. Licensed hunters and trappers may also carry while engaged in their licensed activity, but they must transport their firearms in a non-functioning state — that is broken down, unloaded, in a case, not immediately accessible.

Illinois has the greatest restrictions on firearms of any state. There are no provisions for the open or concealed carry of firearms by residents of the state. Speak with a Chicago attorney or Chicago criminal lawyer if you are being charged with a weapons violation.

In order to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois you must meet the following criteria:

  • Over the age of 21.
  • Have a valid (signed and not expired) FOID card.
  • Become a mayor, alderman, president, trustee, marshal, deputy marshal or policeman and pass a training course given by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board, making you a “conservator of the peace.”
  • Comply with the laws regarding firearms: The Firearm Owners Identification Card Act, the Unlawful Use of Weapons Law and the Wildlife Code.
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