Gun violence in the city of Chicago has reached almost epidemic proportions. The issue is not only well known throughout Illinois but continues to consistently appear in national headlines, as well. Last year, Chicago had more than 3,200 shootings, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Homicides also increased by 50 percent from 2019. And while there has been a slight decrease so far this year, the numbers of shootings are still high.
Chicago Mayor Announces New Gun Program
So far in 2021, Chicago police have confiscated more than 6,300 illegal firearms and anticipate that they will collect more than 12,000 illegal guns by the end of the year, even more than last year’s record-breaker of 11,000 seizures. In an effort to combat these numbers, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced a $1 million rewards program to get illegal guns off the street. In her announcement of the program, the mayor said the number of illegal guns seized in Chicago is more than double the illegal firearms confiscated in both L.A. and New York City combined.
Details of the plan are still being finalized, including when the plan will be launched and how much individual rewards will be. All calls will go through the Chicago P.D.’s tip line.
Illinois Gun Laws
The state of Illinois currently requires all residents to have a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card in order to legally possess a firearm or ammunition. In order to be eligible for a FOID card, the applicant must be 21 years of age or older. Anyone younger than 21 must have a parent or guardian sponsor who is eligible for a FOID card. There is a long list of other requirements an applicant must meet. For example, an applicant cannot be a felon, they cannot be subject to an existing order of protection, they cannot be addicted to narcotics, and they cannot be convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
A person must have a FOID card before purchasing a firearm. When a gun is purchased, there is a mandatory waiting period of 72 hours before the person can take possession of the handgun.
A person who is arrested for illegal possession of a firearm faces harsh penalties if convicted. If you are charged with illegal possession of a firearm, but you would have qualified for a FOID card, the charge will likely be a class A misdemeanor, with a conviction resulting in up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
If you are charged with illegal possession of a firearm and would not have qualified for a FOID card, the charge will be a class 3 felony, with a conviction resulting in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Call a Will County Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with illegal possession of a firearm, a conviction could have a significant impact on your future. Contact McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC at 815-727-0100 to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our dedicated Joliet, IL gun possession lawyers and find out what type of legal options you may have.