A Chicago man watches all of the unrest happening in his neighborhood. He has never owned a gun before, but after hearing gunshots several nights in a row, he decides it is time to purchase a weapon to defend himself and his family. He buys a gun from a trusted friend.
One day while jogging in a public park, a person approaches him and threatens to hurt him if he does not hand over his wallet right away. He pulls out his gun and tells the robber to leave him alone. He does not discharge the gun, and the assailant ends up walking away without incident. A witness nearby calls the police, and the gun owner is now facing criminal charges for carrying a weapon without a concealed carry license.
Gun Sales Have Skyrocketed in Illinois
Gun sales in Illinois have skyrocketed. Shutdowns due to COVID-19, protests over the killing of George Floyd, and the upcoming presidential election have all placed people on edge. Rising movements to defund the police have also pushed non-gun owners to consider buying a gun for self-protection.
According to the Illinois State Police, during the first two weeks of June, over 42,000 people applied for gun permits in Illinois. For context, only 7,000 people applied for gun permits during June of 2019.
Hard Working Citizens Can Face Gun Crimes Charges
Many of those who purchased guns last month are first-time gun owners who have never owned a gun before. Illinois residents are buying guns with the purpose of protecting themselves. Violent crimes are at an all-time high in Chicago. On a recent weekend, 72 people were shot in Chicago and 15 people died, including a 7-year-old girl. On father’s day 104 people were shot and another 15 people were killed.
Illinois has some of the most restrictive gun laws. It is easy for hardworking citizens who have never had any criminal charges in the past to face gun charges. In some cases, new gun owners may not know all of their obligations and all of the ways they can violate Illinois gun laws. Below are some commonly charged gun crimes in Illinois:
- Unlawful use of a firearm
- Possessing an unregistered or stolen gun
- Illegally carrying a concealed weapon
- Probation violations involving guns
- Aggravated Discharge of a firearm
- Reckless discharge of a firearm
Concealed Carry Without a Permit
Illinois was the last state to allow residents to carry a concealed weapon. If law enforcement finds that you are carrying a weapon in public without a concealed carry permit, you will face criminal charges. Even with a concealed carry permit, you can face charges for carrying a handgun in a place that prohibits firearms, such as airports, playgrounds, schools, and hospitals.
You can drive into a prohibited area with a firearm when the firearm is stored in a case, out of view, locked in a vehicle, and in a parking lot. The penalties for concealed carry violations depend on whether the defendant is facing a first, second, or third offense. Convicted defendants face a punishment of up to 180 days in jail for a first-time offense.
Contact Our Experienced Defense Lawyers Today
If you are a gun owner who is facing charges related to concealed carry, Glasgow & Olsson is here to help. Contact our Chicago criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.