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I Have a Gun Permit – Why Was I Charged with a Weapons Offense?

Illinois residents must have a valid Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card to purchase and possess a gun. However, there are some instances in which you could be charged with a weapons offense even if you have a valid permit.

Chargeable Offenses Under Illinois Law

Carrying a Loaded Gun
The FOID allows you to transport an unloaded gun only. When you are taking the firearm with you or have it on your person, it must be in an enclosed case or box. If you are caught with a loaded gun that is not encased, and you don’t have a concealed carry permit, you could be charged with a class 4 felony.

Possessing Prohibited Weapons and Accessories
Although the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides the right to bear arms, in Illinois, it is unlawful to possess certain weapons and accessories. Prohibited items include machine guns, shotguns with a barrel of less than 16 inches, stun guns, silencers, and laser sights. These are illegal regardless of whether you have an FOID and/or a concealed carry permit. You could face felony charges if you are caught in possession of a prohibited firearm or accessory.

Carrying a Gun in a Prohibited Area
A valid gun permit allows you to carry a firearm, but you cannot take it everywhere.

You could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony if you have your gun in restricted areas such as:

  • Schools
  • Government buildings
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Playgrounds
  • Parks

Even if you have a concealed carry permit, you could face criminal charges if you take your firearm into a building that has a “No Guns” sign posted.

Having an Out-of-State Permit
Illinois does not recognize out of state permits as valid. If you are a resident of another state, you could be charged with a weapons offense if you take your firearm with you into Illinois. The state does issue non-resident permits, but these are only available to residents of states that have gun permit regulations substantially similar to those of Illinois.

Currently, only residents of the following four states are eligible for non-resident permits:

  • Arkansas
  • Mississippi
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Call Today for a Free Consultation with the Law Office of Steven Fine

If you’re facing charges for a weapons or gun crime, contact our attorney as soon as possible. We understand Illinois’ strict and complex firearms laws, and we’re here to help protect your rights. With over two decades of legal experience, our lawyer knows how to build effective defenses to get charges reduced or dropped.

For a strong advocate in your corner, call us at (312) 436-0638 or contact us online.