ARRESTED IN CHICAGO FOR AGGRAVATED UUW BUT HAVE A FOID?
I know, I know, Chicago is a dangerous city. People are getting shot left and right in some neighborhoods. It is understandable someone would want to carry a loaded gun to protect themselves on the streets of Chicago. Just turn on the news. Look at the crime statistics over the last ten years. Violence is an everyday part of life in some parts of Chicago. No doubt, carrying a gun can protect you from that violence. It’s also a constitutional right.
You want to protect yourself. You took the right steps. You’ve got a FOID card. That’s all you need to carry a gun legally in Chicago, right? WRONG. Don’t make that mistake. It’s a costly one. One that could land you in prison or branded a felon the rest of your life.
If you have valid FOID card and decide that’s all you need to start carrying your gun with you, you’re looking at catching a serious charge: Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Class 4 felony.
Let’s be crystal clear about the law & carrying guns in Illinois: a FOID card is not a license to carry your gun in public.
You need a concealed carry license to do that. Not a pending concealed carry license. It’s not good enough that you’ve applied for a concealed carry license, this license MUST be granted before you can start carrying outside your home.
Chicago being dangerous, people getting shot by where you live, being in the process of applying for your concealed carry license, NONE of these are valid, or more importantly, successful legal defenses to an Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon case.
So how do you apply for a FOID or Concealed Carry License?
To apply for both a concealed carry license and/or a FOID card visit the Illinois State Police: Firearm Services Bureau’s website: https://www.ispfsb.com/
How Do I Find Out if I Can Own or Carry a Gun in Illinois?
For those looking into firearm ownership in Illinois, who is eligible and ineligible for a FOID and/or a Concealed Carry License?
- 21 years old and/or older*
- Resident of Illinois
- Not addicted to drugs or alcohol
- Not mentally incompetent
- No prior felony convictions
- No prior domestic battery convictions
- No misdemeanor convictions within 5 years for:
- assault or aggravated assault
- violation of order of protection
- (*if a firearm was used during the commission of the offense).
- No prior juvenile adjudications that would be adult felonies
- Have an active order of protection issued against you
- No prior involuntary commitments to a mental health facility
FOID & YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD:
You can’t get a FOID if you have any prior felony conviction. That means if you were arrested for a felony and won your case on a trial, motion, or dismissal, you can get a FOID card. Additionally, if you received deferred prosecution, 410 probation, or 710 probation you would be eligible for your FOID card after the completion of your sentence. Further, most misdemeanor convictions will not make you ineligible for a FOID card.
Eligibility: Concealed Carry
- 21 years old and/or older
- Have a valid FOID (so have to meet all the above requirements) plus:
- No prior convictions for:
- (any) misdemeanor involving the use or threat of physical force or violence to any person within the 5 years preceding the date of the license application.
- No more than 1 violation of DUI within 5 years
- No residential or court ordered alcohol or drug treatment within 5 years
- is not the subject of a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to disqualification to own or possess a firearm.
- Completed 16 hr firearms training
Concealed Carry & YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD:
As you can see, the Concealed Carry License requirements are even more restrictive when it comes to your criminal record. For example, you would have to wait 5 years from the completion of any 410 or 710 probation given those programs include court ordered drug treatment. In that same vein, any misdemeanor offense that involved drug or alcohol treatment would also be subject to this 5 year waiting rule. 2 misdemeanor DUIs within 5 years of applying, even if you only got supervision for one of them, will make you ineligible.
*****PENDING FOID OR CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO LEGALLY OWN OR CARRY A FIREARM IN ILLINOIS******
If you meet the above requirements, go through the application process before you buy a gun or start carrying a gun. As stated above, and cannot be stressed enough, having a pending application for a FOID or Concealed Carry License means NOTHING when it comes to getting arrested for Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon or other gun charges. Have a pending license/FOID card and decide to carry anyways, you’ll get arrested for Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon just like anyone else. Why? You don’t have a valid FOID card or Concealed Carry License just yet, it’s only pending.
Additionally, if you do get arrested for an Aggravated Unlawful Use or a Weapon for carrying to early, your Concealed Carry License will be denied.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU’RE CAUGHT & CONVICTED FOR CARRYING A LOADED FIREARM WITHOUT A FOID OR CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE?
If you’re charged and convicted with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon-No FOID card, class 4 felony, you are going to prison. Full stop. Period. Probation is not an option for this type of offense. Even if you have ZERO criminal history, you’re going to prison for 1-3 years with a 1 year period of parole. The only exception under the law is if you are under 21 years old. In that case, Youth Gun Offender Program is a possible option.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU’RE CAUGHT CARRYING A LOADED FIREARM AND YOU HAVE A VALID FOID BUT NO CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE?
If you carry a loaded firearm on your person and have a valid FOID but no concealed carry license, you’re still going to get charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, class 4 felony, but there is one HUGE difference than if you didn’t have a FOID. You still become a convicted felon, but you’re not looking at a one-way stop to prison. If you have a FOID and get charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, you can be sentenced to probation.
HOW TO LEGALLY CARRY/TRANSPORT A FIREARM WITHOUT A CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE?
The law is pretty clear, the gun needs to be: UNLOADED & ENCASED.
If you have a FOID card and want to step outside your house with your gun: unload your gun, put it a carrying case with the bullets and gun separated, AND THEN go outside. If you get in your car, put the case in your trunk just to be on the safe side. It can’t hurt. The most important thing however, is that at all times the firearm is: UNLOADED & ENCASED.
LOADED VS. UNLOADED
What do you call a gun without any bullets?
And If you’re interested in carrying a gun for your safety in the city of Chicago, of course it’s going to be loaded. You’re wanting to carry to protect yourself from becoming another victim of gun violence in this city.
However, the law makes a crucial distinction between loaded and unloaded firearms. You’re still getting charged with a violation of the Illinois Unlawful Use of Weapons statute. The difference is misdemeanor vs. a felony. If you’re arrested with an unloaded gun, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor Unlawful Use of a Weapon. Loading up the gun jacks it up to the felony level. If a picture is a worth a thousand words, in Chicago a bullet can be worth 1-3 years in prison.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO RESTORE YOUR 2ND AMENDMENT GUN RIGHTS IF INELIGIBLE?
But what if you have a prior felony conviction. Can you ever own a gun in Illinois? No and Yes.
That’s confusing, but so is Illinois Gun Rights Restoration.
Simply, though, if you have a felony conviction you only have two options to get your gun rights restored:
- Obtain a Pardon that also allows you to expunge your conviction OR
- If your felony is no a “Forcible Felony” over 20 years old you can petition the Circuit Court of where you live to have your gun rights restored.
Neither of these options are a guarantee you will get your gun rights restored. They are only potential ways you could become eligible to apply and obtain a FOID card. You will still need to go through a hearing process to actually obtain your gun rights. Even if you take these routes, you better believe the State is going to object and it’s going to have to be decided by a Judge.
Chicago may be dangerous, but its gun laws could pose the real threat to your freedom. Carrying a firearm out of fear without completing the proper legal channels will have disastrous effects on your life. The question won’t be what those effects are, but how long they will impact your life. That’s where a skilled criminal defense attorney comes in.
If you have been arrested for an Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon offense, an experienced criminal defense lawyer make the difference of those impacts being the short term hassle of court & litigation or the long term consequences of a felony on your record, or worse, prison. We know how to handle all types of gun cases, from misdemeanor to felony Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons thru Weapons trafficking. (get offense). This is what we do, what we know, who we are. Hire a team of criminal defense lawyers ready to represent you in your darkest hour. Call Robert Callahan & Associates now at 312 322 9000.