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Joliet criminal defense attorneyThe sheer number of homicides in the news over the past few years has put a spotlight on Chicago’s gun violence. Illinois statutes regulate the use, possession, and carrying of a firearm, but the law can be confusing, and even gun owners can sometimes misunderstand it. Illinois residents are allowed to possess a gun or ammunition if they qualify for a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which is issued by the Illinois State Police. 

Any criminal charge involving a weapon is taken seriously in the state of Illinois. When a person is arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm, it can impact the rest of his or her life. In some cases, a criminal record can be hard to erase. Interviewing for a job or trying to secure a home loan can be difficult when a criminal charge comes up on a background check.  

Unlawful Use of a Weapon Penalties

Under Illinois law, the unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) is a serious crime. If person does not have a conceal and carry permit, he or she can be charged with a misdemeanor UUW if he or she is found to be carrying a gun. If the gun was loaded and the person does not possess a FOID Card, he or she may be charged with an aggravated UUW, which is classified as a Class 4 felony in Illinois. Another example of a Class 4 felony is reckless discharge of a firearm. In certain scenarios, a second offense of these can be charged as a Class 3 felony. If a convicted felon is found in possession of a firearm, he or she may face a Class X felony.

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