Over the course of four months, the men sold 16 firearms, including but not limited to an AK-47 rifle, sawed-off shotgun, and .22-caliber pistol. In two of the transactions, authorities benefited from cooperation. A buyer in New York recorded the interaction and transaction, reporting everything to law enforcement. A buyer in Illinois also reported the interaction and transaction to the authorities.
Both men are facing federal charges in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The charges included illegal weapon possession and alteration of a serial number. The maximum sentences range from five to 10 years in prison.
While the alleged perpetrators in this news story are being charged in federal court, it feels like a great time to examine Illinois laws concerning the illegal use and sale of firearms.
How Does Illinois Address the Illegal Use and Sale of Firearms?
Referred to as unlawful use of a weapon, the Illinois Criminal Code addresses illegal use and sale of firearms in section 720 ILCS 5/24-1. In most circumstances, people are allowed to carry firearms in public places across Illinois. The law specifically prohibits firearms in restaurants and bars that serve alcohol as well as public events. Furthermore, 720 ILCS 5/24-1 outlaws the sale, manufacture, purchase, and possession of machine guns as well as sawed-off rifles and shotguns.
It is important to note that Illinois does outline certain exceptions in the state regulations for Firearm Owner’s Identification and Concealed Carry. For example, if an individual has a valid concealed carry permit, then he or she is allowed to conceal a firearm on his or her person and carry it in public places.
Now that we have covered the basic fundamentals of unlawful use of a weapon, we can explore distinct laws in the Illinois Criminal Code dealing with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. As outlined in 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon accounts for additional considerations, including but not limited to previous convictions, concealed carry, and body armor.
Penalties for unlawful use of a weapon range in severity from misdemeanor to felony. Repeat offenses and the location of the crime also have an impact. For example, there are heightened penalties for unlawful weapon use committed near a public park, school, or courthouse.
Do You Need Legal Advice?
No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal charges are serious. Without a sound strategy and an aggressive defense, you could miss out on your best chance for a positive outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the law and navigate toward an effective resolution.
Serving the counties of Dewitt, Ford, Livingston, Logan, McLean, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford, The Prior Law Firm is located in Bloomington, Illinois. Our attorneys are dedicated to the practice of Illinois criminal law. If you need legal advice concerning any criminal offense, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately.
You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online by completing a simple form.
(image courtesy of Andrew Kambel)