Illinois Gun Laws

The horrific tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas has once again brought the gun rights and gun law conversation to the forefront. As a result, Illinois legislators are pushing for stricter gun laws despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the United States. Keep reading for more information.

The Conversation

Since the shooting at Columbine in 1999 school shootings has been on the rise. With every massacre, lawmakers across the country are drawn into reevaluating the gun laws in their state. On one side of the conversation are the gun rights advocates who fear further restrictions that they believe encroach on their constitutional right to own firearms. On the other side are those who are frustrated with the lack of standardized gun control and safety standards.

As gun laws continue to change because of the nationwide conversation about gun violence, there are still no streamlined regulations for the U.S. as a whole. Illinois, however, has taken steps to curb gun violence since the early 2010s.

Illinois Restrictions

In Illinois, prospective firearm owners are required to get a permit and undergo a background check before they can purchase a firearm and anyone with felony convictions or restraining orders is barred from gun ownership. Those with documented mental health issues are also not allowed to legally purchase a gun.

To take the law a step further, the Firearm Owners Identification Card issued by Illinois State Police must be renewed every ten years – failure to do so results in a fine. Anyone with a firearm in their possession without an updated ID card is considered to be engaging in illegal possession.

Other gun laws include:

  • No training is required prior to purchasing a firearm but all concealed carry licensees must complete 16 hours of training including classroom and field training
  • All gun owners must have a permit for concealed carry
  • Those younger than 21 are prohibited from purchasing a firearm
  • High powered ammunition and rifle silencers are prohibited
  • Ghost guns, those with no history and/or untraceable firearms are outlawed
  • Machine guns are any firearm that shoots more than one bullet per squeeze of the trigger
  • Municipalities are not allowed to ban assault rifles, but the use of them is restricted
  • AR-15 assault rifles are banned in most, if not all, counties in Illinois

The right to bear arms and purchase firearms is still in effect but the state and most individual municipalities restrict and regulate gun ownership. Many supporters of these rules believe that restricting ownership is a primary reason the state has the 16th lowest gun death rate in the United States.

Important Considerations

State legislators are engaged in talks about creating further restrictions on guns but there are no official proposals as of May 2022. While IL has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, many feel that the state could be harsher on gun violence, especially in light of recent events.

However, regardless of the future of gun laws, the current lawbooks leave little room for sympathy when it comes to accusations of illegal possession. Those accused of illegally possessing a firearm face up to seven years in prison depending on aggravating factors and criminal history.

If you have been accused or charged with illegal gun possession you must seek the counsel of an attorney immediately. Gun violence is a problem that grows exponentially with each year, but in some cases, people may jump to conclusions about gun ownership. Protecting safe gun ownership is a key part of stopping violence and promoting safety regulations – even if you are protecting your rights in court.

Contact Johnson Law Group for more information.

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