Unlawful Possession of Ammunition in Illinois
To legally possess a firearm in the State of Illinois an individual must carry and maintain a Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card. However, you may not know that a FOID card is also required to possess ammunition.
“Firearm ammunition” is defined under Illinois law as “any self-contained cartridge or shotgun shell, by whatever name known, which is designed to be used or adaptable to use in a firearm.” Exclusions to this definition include items such as flares for use with flare guns and studs or rivets for use with power tools.
Unlawful possession of ammunition in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor. This is the most serious misdemeanor charge in the state with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. While not as severe as a felony charge, subsequent misdemeanor charges can become felonies.
A person in Illinois may be charged with this misdemeanor when they have ammunition in their possession and:
- Are an Illinois resident without a FOID card
- Are under 21 years of age and have already been convicted of a misdemeanor (other than a traffic offense)
- Are a narcotic addict
- Have been a patient in a mental institution in the last five years
- Are a person with a mental disability
Additionally, a person in possession of any “explosive bullets” may be charged with unlawful possession. “Explosive bullets,” by law, means “the projectile portion of an ammunition cartridge which contains or carries an explosive charge which will explode upon contact with the flesh of a human or an animal.”
If you are charged with unlawful possession of ammunition in Illinois, it is essential to consult with a defense attorney. They will review the details of your case and formulate a defensive strategy. Contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates, LLC for a free consultation.