Is a Gun Charge a Felony in Illinois?

Updated on 02/09/2023 / Under

One of the most protected and important rights in the history of the country is an individual’s right to own a firearm. However, for you to own a firearm in the state of Illinois you are required to have an owner identification card. You are also required to have a concealed card to carry your license.

Illinois has one of the most stringent laws on the books in the country when it comes to gun control. As a result of breaking these laws, the penalties can be extremely harsh. There are gun charges in Illinois that are misdemeanors but is a gun charge a felony in Illinois? The answer is yes, in some situations a gun charge is a felony. A gun charge as a felony can have a long-term effect on your life it is a serious issue that requires you to seek the help of a skilled legal representative as soon as you find yourself facing the charges. This is because the charges could permanently blackmark your clean criminal record.

At Ktenas Law our qualified and experienced Chicago gun defense lawyer effectively and skillfully defends clients just like you and fights for them to get a positive outcome. If you are facing gun charges give us a call and give our legal team of experts a chance to defend your rights and interests during the trial.

What Gun Crimes Are Felonies in Illinois?

In Illinois, there are several gun charges that an individual is likely to face. Below are some of those weapons offenses.

The Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

There are several circumstances that an individual can commit illegal firearm possession or illegal gun possession. Such circumstances are;

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  • An individual under the age of 18 is in possession of a firearm that can be concealed.
  • An individual that is below the age of 21 and has been convicted for a misdemeanor offense and possesses a firearm can be charged.
  • Anyone who is found in possession of an explosive bullet.
  • You can be charged if you have within the last 5 years been a patient at a mental institution and are found to be in possession of a firearm or ammunition for a firearm.

It is important to keep in mind that the charges will not apply to an individual that is under 18 years who are participating in lawful hunting, firing a gun at a shooting range, or an individual participating in a recreational activity that involves a firearm.

The Reckless Discharge of a Firearm

It is illegal to recklessly fire a weapon in Illinois. Reckless discharge of a firearm is when the weapon is fired in such a manner that it endangers or puts at risk the bodily safety of others. In the case where the offense occurred in a moving vehicle and the owner or driver of the vehicle was aware of the offense and consented, it is possible for the driver to be charged with the crime.

Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm

When an individual discharges a firearm intentionally or knowingly in a building that they know has a reasonable chance of being occupied, they are committing an aggravated discharge of firearm offense. Also, it is a must for the firearm to be discharged from a place or a position that is outside the building or facing the direction of a vehicle or a person that they reasonably know is occupied by another party.  

Possessing a Stolen Firearm

In Illinois, you can get a criminal charge for being in illegal possession of any firearm that has been stolen regardless of whether the firearm is being used unlawfully or not. The offense can be committed when an individual that not entitled to the possession of a firearm is in possession of a firearm that they know has been stolen.

someone loading a pistol, Is a Gun Charge a Felony in Illinois

What Are the Penalties For These Charges?

As a result of not adhering to the rules and regulations of the gun charges in Illinois, one is likely to face severe penalties. Below are some of the penalties for gun charge felonies in Illinois.

The Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

In the case where an individual is convicted for unlawful possession of a firearm, they are likely to face a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony. Of course, their conviction will depend on eth circumstances revolving around the case. When you are charged with a Class A misdemeanor you are likely to get up to 12 months in jail and you may end up paying fines amounting to $2500. For a class 4 felony, you are likely to serve jail time of 3 years and in addition, you will have to pay fines.

The Reckless Discharge of a Firearm

The reckless discharge of a firearm is a class 4 felony and it is punishable with a fine amounting to $25000 and 3 years in jail.

Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm

The criminal offense is classified as a class 1 felony. As a result of being convicted for this crime, an individual can serve a prison sentence of up to 15 years and pay fines amounting to $25,000.

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Possessing a Stolen Firearm

Possessing a stolen firearm is classified as a class 2 felony offense and can result in severe criminal penalties for an individual doing time in prison (7 years approximately) and paying fines of up to $25,000.

How Our Attorneys Can Help You With a Gun Charge

Don’t waste any time if you are facing weapons charges. It is important for you to talk to a criminal defense attorney in Chicago as soon as possible. Gun charges are normally complex and it is best to get in touch with a lawyer that can evaluate your case, examine the facts of your case, and get started with building an effective defense strategy that can get you the best possible outcome.

Get in touch with our criminal defense attorney at Ktenas Law and get your free case evaluation!