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When Can Carrying a Gun Lead to Unlawful Use of a Weapon Charges?

 Posted on February 14, 2024 in Uncategorized

Will County Gun Law AttorneyWith the Second Amendment granting the right to bear arms, many people in Illinois and other parts of the United States choose to exercise this right by possessing and carrying firearms for protection. However, it is crucial for all firearm owners to understand that there are specific laws and regulations governing the carrying of guns. Failing to comply with these laws can lead to serious charges, such as unlawful use of a weapon (UUW). If you are facing weapons charges, an experienced attorney can help you understand how Illinois law applies in your situation and how you can defend against a conviction while protecting your Second Amendment rights.

Concealed Carry Laws in Illinois

In 2013, Illinois became the last state in the United States to enact legislation allowing residents to carry concealed handguns. The law provides guidelines on who can obtain a concealed carry license (CCL) and under what circumstances they are allowed to carry concealed firearms while outside their homes or businesses.

To qualify for a CCL, a person must be at least 21 years old, and they must have a valid firearm owner’s identification (FOID) card. They must not be prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law due to issues such as felony convictions or habitual drug use. Certain types of criminal convictions committed within the five years before applying will disqualify a person from receiving a CCL, including a misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence or assault or two or more convictions for DUI.

Open Carry Laws in Illinois

Illinois does not currently have any laws explicitly permitting the open carrying of firearms without restrictions. In general, firearms carried in public must be concealed. If a person is transporting a firearm in their vehicle, the weapon must be kept in a place where it is not immediately accessible, or it must be stored unloaded in a case or box. A firearm can also be transported if it has been taken apart and is not functional.

Unlawful Use of a Weapon Charges

While the right to carry firearms is protected, Illinois law outlines situations where carrying a gun can result in criminal charges of unlawful use of a weapon. These include:

  • Carrying without proper licensing: It is illegal to possess or carry a firearm without obtaining the necessary licenses. A person who possesses a weapon without a valid FOID or CCL may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

  • Criminal background: People with felony convictions are prohibited from possessing firearms. A violation of this restriction may result in Class 3 felony charges. If a person had been subject to a domestic violence order of protection or another type of restraining order within the previous two years, possession of a firearm can lead to charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, which is a Class 4 felony.

  • Possession in prohibited areas: Carrying a firearm in designated areas such as schools, courthouses, or public transportation vehicles or facilities is a Class 3 felony. Carrying a firearm in a church, mosque, temple, or other religious building with the intent to use it unlawfully is a Class 2 felony.

Contact Our Joliet Weapons Charges Defense Attorney

If you are facing UUW charges for any reason related to possessing or carrying firearms in Illinois, it is important to work with an attorney who can help you understand your options for defending against a conviction. At Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., our Will County unlawful use of a weapon lawyer can evaluate your case thoroughly and provide you with sound legal advice and effective legal representation. With our understanding of the laws that affect firearm owners in Illinois and our experience defending clients against criminal charges, we can help you resolve your case successfully. Contact us at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.

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