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An overview of gun possession laws in Illinois

No matter what people think about guns and their use, gun control is generally a difficult subject. Many people believe that guns are necessary for their safety and the safety of their family; others believe that guns are a danger to everyone.

Regardless, the state of Illinois has put laws into place that specify exactly what types of guns people are legally allowed to possess and how people are allowed to get, have and use them. Illinois also has severe penalties for people who break these laws.

Who is not allowed to have guns?

According to Illinois Statutes, you may not possess a firearm if you are,

· Under 18 years of age

· Under 21 years of age and have been convicted of a misdemeanor (traffic offenses do not count toward this restriction)

· Addicted to narcotics

· Have any mental disabilities or have been a patient in a metal hospital within the last 5 years (unless you admitted yourself voluntarily for only alcohol abuse treatment)

· You have been convicted of a felony

What guns are illegal to possess?

Illegal guns include,

· Machine guns

· Any rifle/shotgun weapon that has been modified to be less than 26 inches

· Rifles with a barrel shorter than 16 inches

· Shotguns with a barrel shorter than 18 inches

Ammunition

It should be noted that people are also not allowed to have a particular types of ammunition. Prohibited types include explosive and armor-piercing rounds. Silencers are also illegal. If you are found to illegally have a firearm and illegal ammunition, these will be considered two separate charges.

Restricted areas

People are not allowed to carry firearms on or near school property. Doing so is a Class 2 felony and a conviction can result in up to 7 years in prison. Some other businesses and institutions also prohibit guns on their premises.

Sentences

If a person is convicted of the illegal possession of a firearm or illegal ammunition, they will face severe legal penalties. Possession of a handgun can result in a Class 4 felony. This can mean between 1 and 3 years in prison. Illegal possession of a firearm, not including handguns, can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge. This could mean up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

No matter the charge, the state of Illinois takes the possession and use of firearms very seriously and people should too. Any gun-related conviction can seriously impact the rest of a person's life. If you are facing a gun-related charge, it is highly suggested that you seek out the services of a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional.

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