BACKED BY EXPERIENCE
Cook County Gun Crimes Defense Lawyer
Decades of Experience from a Published Legal Author and Award-Winning Attorney
Every state has its own gun laws and licensing regulations. Violating these rules and regulations for gun use and possession constitutes a criminal offense. If you have been accused of committing a gun crime, whether due to unlicensed carry or illegal possession due to your criminal history, you should consult an experienced gun crimes attorney about your legal rights.
Attorney William Wolf is a widely renowned defense lawyer who has published numerous papers on criminal procedure, and he has also received a number of awards, including the Presidential Service Appreciation Award from the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
He also has experience as an Adjunct Professor of Law at John Marshall Law School, so you can trust that Attorney Wolf has both the experience and the skill to handle your defense, no matter how complex.
Schedule a free initial consultation with The Law Offices of William Wolf, LLC to learn more about your gun rights and how to navigate your charge. Bilingual services in Spanish and Italian available.
Who Can Own a Gun in Illinois?
Anyone who is 21 years or older may apply for a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID), which acts as a permit to purchase a gun. From there, the individual may obtain a Concealed Carry License (open carry is illegal in Illinois). In general, the eligibility requirements to obtain a Concealed Carry License (CCL) in Illinois are:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Have a valid FOID card.
- Have not been convicted or found guilty of a violent crime in the last 5 years.
- Have not been convicted or found guilty of more than one DUI in the last 5 years.
- Not be subject to any pending warrants that would lead to a suspension of the applicant’s FOID.
- Not have been in a residential or court-ordered substance rehabilitation facility within the past 5 years.
- Be free of objections by law enforcement.
- Complete mandated firearm training.
Out-of-state residents do not need to obtain a FOID if they have a similar legal right under their home state to purchase a gun.
Note that certain firearms are illegal to possess in Illinois, including machine guns, rifles with a barrel of less than 16 inches, shotguns with a barrel of less than 18 inches, stun guns or tasers, explosives (or metal-piercing bullets), set spring guns, and silencers.
Additionally, not everyone who is 21 years or older may possess a gun in the state. The following individuals are prohibited from possessing a gun:
- convicted felons (including juvenile delinquents whose underlying offense would have been charged as a felony if tried in adult court);
- convicted domestic abusers;
- convicts of violent crimes with a firearm within the last 5 years;
- narcotic addicts;
- patients in a mental hospital within the last 5 years;
- mental hospital patients of more than 5 years ago, unless they have a valid Mental Health Certificate;
- individuals with an intellectual or development disability;
- anyone subject to a protection order;
- illegal aliens;
- individuals dishonorably discharged from the US Armed Forces.
Penalties for Illegal Possession
Violating the statutes for gun use and possession in Illinois is a serious criminal offense. A first-time offense will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in prison and $2,500 in fines; subsequent offenses will be charged as Class 3 felonies punishable by 5 years in prison. However, depending on the type of firearm involved in the offense, the charge may vary between a Class 2, 3, or 4 felony. If the offender is a prisoner or other individual with a criminal history, the offense may rise to a Class X felony (below). Additionally, possession of a firearm on or near an elementary or secondary school is a Class 2 felony punishable by 7 years in prison.
Armed Habitual Criminals
Illinois implements an Armed Habitual Criminal weapons charge, which criminalizes the possession, sale, receiving, or transfer of a firearm by someone with at least 2 of the following convictions:
- forcible felony;
- controlled substances violation or Cannabis Control Act violation charged as a Class 3 felony or more;
- aggravated child battery;
- home invasion;
- aggravated battery involving a firearm;
- aggravated discharge of a firearm;
- unlawful use of a weapon by a convicted felon.
The above convictions are Class X felonies punishable by 6-30 years in state prison. If convicted of an Armed Habitual Criminal offense, the offender will also face other consequences on top of additional prison time, such as deportation, loss of gun rights, and a mark on their criminal record.
If you have been charged with a gun-related crime, do not hesitate to contact The Law Office of William Wolf, LLC to discuss your legal options immediately. Whether the offense involves your license to carry or your status as an armed habitual criminal, Attorney Wolf is prepared to defend you and assert your rights as a defendant.
Schedule a free initial consultation with The Law Office of William Wolf, LLC today to get started.
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