For Illinois residents to legally possess firearms or ammunition they must have a Firearm Owners Identification Card or FOID Card. The Illinois State Police issues the card to qualified applicants. An application can be submitted online or an applicant can apply via a paper application. The law has been in effect since the late 1960s and has been subject to amendments both decreasing and increasing the scope and breadth of its control.
In part, 430 ILCS 65/2 entitled Firearm Owner’s Identification Card Required; Exceptions, provides that “No person may acquire or possess any firearm, stun gun, or taser within this State without having in his or her possession a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card previously issued in his or her names by the Department of State Police under the provisions.” The act also applies to ammunition. There are also more than 16 exceptions, including, but not limited members of the Armed Forces of the United States and Federal Officials required to carry firearms while engaged in the operation of their official duties.
Depending on the circumstances of alleged firearm possession, the penalties range from a Petty Offense, Class A Misdemeanor, Class 4 Felony, Class 2 Felony, and Class 1 Felony. For example, a violation of 430 ILCS 65(a)(1) when the person’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Car is expired but the person is not otherwise disqualified from owning, purchasing, or possessing firearms, is a petty offense if the card was expired for 6 months or less from the date of expiration. On the other hand, a violation of 430 ILCS 65(a)(1) is a Class A Misdemeanor when the person does possess a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Care, but is otherwise eligible under this Act. A second or subsequent violation is a Class 4 Felony.
In all criminal cases in Illinois, the prosecution is required to prove each and every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Many of these cases arise from a police search of a person’s automobile, truck, apartment, or person. Therefore, our Fourth Amendment Constitutional Right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures will be triggered. Further, the prosecution must show that the defendant had knowledge of the firearm and was in possession of the firearm. Proving possession is often a difficult hurdle for the prosecution to get over when the officers find the firearm in the trunk of a car, the glove department, or hidden somewhere inside of a apartment or house.
For more information on different types of firearm related offenses check out: Illinois Compiled Statutes
If you would like a free consultation with an experienced attorney call Richard at 630-917-2051. We defend people charged with firearm related crimes in Chicago, Addison, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Burr Ridge, Calumet City, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Elgin, Elk Grove, Elmhurst, Evanston, Hoffman Estates, Homewood, Joliet, Lombard, Maywood, Oak Brook, Oak Park, Orland Park, Schaumburg, Skokie, Woodridge, and more.