Gun laws in Illinois are among the toughest in the nation. On August 23, 2016, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Illinois’ gun bill, HB 6303, that strengthens penalties for firearms trafficking throughout the state. This gun law means harsher sentences for the person who buys guns illegally imported to Illinois and the persons selling them.
If you have been charged with a gun crime in Illinois, you need to have the help of a seasoned criminal defense attorney, one who both knows the laws and understands the system. The experienced Illinois criminal attorneys at Wolfe and Stec can help you with any gun crime charges.
Why Choose Wolfe & Stec to Represent You
Gun Crime Charges Are Serious
Are you facing charges for a gun crime? If so, you are likely concerned, and with very good reason. The outcome of your situation can have a significant impact, not only on your life, but also on the lives of your family and friends, in both the short and long term.
The legal process associated with gun possession crimes is complicated. In order to navigate it, you will want to have the guidance of a seasoned gun crime attorney. Engaging a professional who not only knows the law but also appreciates the stress you are facing is critical as you embark on a challenging process.
At Wolf & Stec, we not only know the gun laws in Illinois, but we know how to defend those accused of violating them.
When you engage our gun crime lawyer you will benefit from our:
- More than 20 years of legal experience in Illinois
- Focus on gun crime defenses
- Knowledge of the local court system, including attorneys, judges and operations
- Attention to detail
- Personal, hands-on service
- Empathic communication
- Skillful negotiation
- Aggressive defense litigation services
- Reputation for success.
Without a doubt, we check all of the critical boxes for an individual looking for gun charge legal representation. Our team is committed to providing you with the highest quality, responsive legal service designed to protect your future, along with the future of those you love.
If you have been accused of a gun possession crime, or believe you will be, contact us today at
630-305-0222 to schedule a free consultation. This meeting is designed to familiarize you with our team and how we work and to provide us with more details regarding your specific situation. We appreciate that time is of the essence and are committed to meeting with you as quickly as possible.
How We Can Help You with Your Gun Possession Charges
We Assume Complete Responsibility for Your Defense
If you have been accused of a gun crime, the stakes are incredibly high. In fact, how you live the rest of your life depends upon the outcome of your case.
With your future at hand, you need experienced legal guidance. This is not a road you should travel on your own. Quite simply, there is a lot to do, all of which requires significant and specific knowledge, time and attention. Our gun crime attorneys will manage the entire legal process for you, bringing their experience to bear on your behalf.
When you engage us, you can expect us to:
- Actively Listen: Gaining a complete understanding of what happened to you is so important. We never assume anything and always carefully listen to your account of the circumstances. Additionally, we ask critical probing questions to ensure we have an accurate picture of the situation.
- Fully Investigate: By carefully reviewing all of the evidence, interviewing witnesses and reviewing the circumstances of your arrest, we gain information that is important to building your defense. We need to confirm that your rights were not violated and that all evidence was lawfully obtained.
- Clearly Communicate: Ensuring you understand exactly what is happening at all times is our responsibility. As your gun possession attorney, we will explain in layman’s terms exactly what is happening and what to expect — nothing is more confusing than legal-speak. We are always available to answer your questions and address your concerns.
- Strategically Negotiate: While having your charges dismissed is always the best outcome, this is not always possible. We will negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to reduce the charges against you if we cannot have them dismissed.
- Aggressively Litigate: Should we need to go to trial, we will work tirelessly to build a strong case and will aggressively defend you in court.
When you work with us, you can rest easy knowing that your case will be handled by professionals well-versed in Illinois criminal law in general and gun possession specifically. Protecting your future is our goal, one which we will work tirelessly to achieve.
Illinois Gun Laws Are Among the Strictest in the Country
Understanding the Specifics
Knowledge is power, and comprehending what you are and are not allowed to do, regarding gun purchase and ownerships is important. Illinois law prohibits any person from:
- Knowingly purchasing or attempting to purchase a firearm with the intent to deliver it to a person prohibited from possessing one
- Intentionally providing false or misleading information on a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives transaction record to purchase or attempt to purchase a firearm
- Forging or materially altering a Firearm Owner’s Identification (“FOID”) card, as well as knowingly possessing a forged or altered FOID card with intent to use it to purchase firearms and ammunition
- Knowingly or intentionally altering, changing, removing or obliterating the importers or manufacturer’s serial number on any firearm or possessing such a weapon
- Delivering a firearm, while not being entitled to its possession, knowing it to have been stolen or converted.
If you are charged with violating any part of the law, as listed above, engaging an experienced DuPage County gun crimes lawyer should be your first course of action. The team at Wolf & Stec is ready to go to work for you; don’t hesitate to contact us.
What Are Punishments for Gun Violations?
Because of the seriousness with which the state views gun crimes, punishments for violation are severe and can be life changing. The crime with which you are charged determines the level of punishment applied. In Illinois, gun violation punishments are classified as follows:
- Class A misdemeanor: conviction results in less than 1 year in jail plus up to $2,500 in fines. This is for a minimal violation of legal gun possession.
- Class 4 felony: usually means a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years and up to $25,000 in fines. There is a minimum one year of parole after any prison term.
- Class 4 felonies are:
- Carrying or possessing any firearm anywhere that is licensed to sell intoxicating beverages
- Taking a firearm to a public or government place where admission is charged
- Carrying or possessing a weapon in your vehicle or on your person while hiding your identity.
- Class 3 felony: 2 to 5 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines and a minimum one year of parole.
- Class 3 felonies include:
- Possessing a gun silencer
- Selling, manufacturing, purchasing, possessing, or carrying certain explosives and guns such as long rifles or machine guns.
- Class 2 felony: possible 3- to 7-year prison term and a fine of $25,000. Minimum parole is 2 years.
- Class 3 could be raised to a Class 2 felony if you are a repeat offender or commit offenses at a school or public park.
- Class 1 felony: means 4 to 15 years in prison on top of up to $25,000 in fines and at least 2 years parole.
- Class X felony: no chance of getting probation if convicted of this. Sentencing is usually anywhere from 6 to 30 years in prison, up to $25,000 in fines, and a minimum parole of 3 years.
- Class 1 or Class X felony: for aggravated firearm discharge, including discharging at or into an occupied building or vehicle, or knowingly shooting at an official.
Don’t make the mistake of believing that your misdemeanor charge is not serious . . . it is.
All gun crimes charges can have serious repercussions.
Handling your case by yourself is a mistake. Always contact an experienced gun crimes lawyer as quickly as possible.
The Importance of a Handgun License: Obtaining a FOID Card
In Illinois, you must obtain a handgun license, known as a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card to purchase and possess a gun. In 2013, Illinois became the last state to legalize possession and concealed carry of a firearm outside the home and enacted a law, 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 66/1 et seq., permitting people to carry concealed weapons with a license. In order to obtain a concealed carry license, you must have a (FOID) card or qualify for one and be in the process of applying for one.
To obtain a FOID card, you must submit an application to the state police department. To qualify, you must be:
- At least 21 years old, or at least 18 with written parental consent,
- A U.S. citizen or legal resident, and
- Eligible to obtain and possess a firearm under federal law.
You will not qualify if you are:
- A convicted felon
- A minor convicted of certain misdemeanors, crimes that would be felonies if committed by an adult, or who has been adjudicated delinquent
- Addicted to controlled substances
- “Mentally impaired” or “intellectually disabled”
- Have been committed to a mental hospital or adjudicated mentally defective within the last five years or convicted of certain domestic or violent crimes.
Illinois does not recognize concealed carry licenses from other states. Even if you are licensed to carry concealed weapons, you still are prohibited from doing so while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Places Where Concealed Gun Carry Is Prohibited
Even with a FOID card, there are places in Illinois where you simply cannot carry a concealed weapon. These include:
- Schools and childcare facilities
- State property and local government buildings
- Adult and juvenile detention centers, jails and prisons
- Hospitals, mental health facilities, and nursing homes
- On public transportation
- Public gatherings, such as festivals or fairs
- Property licensed to sell alcohol
- Any public playground, park, or forest preserve
- Gaming facilities and horse tracks, stadiums, arenas, and sports facilities
- Libraries, amusement parks, zoos, and museums
- Nuclear power plants
- Any place where firearms are prohibited by federal law. (430 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 66/65).
Responsible gun owners pay attention to these restrictions and abide by them. That said, we know that misunderstandings occur, and accidents happen. Should you be charged with carrying a concealed weapon in a location where it is prohibited by law, our team can help you.
Gun Possession Charges Are Serious
They Can Threaten Your Future
Remember that many gun or weapons offenses — especially those related to the commission of another crime while in possession of a gun — carry mandatory prison terms. Charges such as armed violence, armed robbery, aggravated vehicular hijacking, and home invasion carry increased penalties if a firearm was used.
If you are charged with one of these crimes, in addition to possession of a firearm, we can help. Members of our legal team have experience handling a broad range of criminal charges and are well-equipped to handle all of your legal issues.
Contact Wolf & Stec Today
The criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique with its own set of circumstances.
We know the judges and the court system and will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense.
We strongly believe that everyone is entitled to quality legal representation, and our firm has built an outstanding reputation of providing just that. We leverage all of the strengths of our firm to provide you with a vigorous defense. When you work with us, we fight to protect your future as if it were our own.
Don’t delay — contact us for a free consultation today if you have been accused of any gun charges. Call 630-305-0222. Our Illinois gun crimes lawyers represent clients in DuPage County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove and Bolingbrook, Illinois.
Attorney Natalie Stec
Natalie M. Stec, born and raised in Illinois, and earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her practice has been concentrated in significant pre and post decree marital and family law cases; including custody, visitation, support, and paternity matters. She has important criminal defense experience in both misdemeanor and felony cases. She is a very dedicated and passionate litigator. [ Attorney Bio ]
Attorney Marc Wolfe
Marc Wolfe has been representing clients in criminal matters in Chicago and the entire State of Illinois for over 30 years. Mr. Wolfe has tried over 300 cases to verdict and represents clients facing investigation or prosecution for a broad range of state and federal criminal offenses, including murder, embezzlement, sexual abuse, drugs, marijuana and white collar crimes. [ Attorney Bio ]