Illinois Possession Of A Firearm With A Defaced Serial Number

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/24-5(b)

A person commits Possession of a Firearm with a Defaced Serial Number when they possess any firearm when the firearm’s importer or manufacturer’s serial number on the firearm has been changed, altered, removed or obliterated.

Any individual who possesses a firearm that has its serial number altered or removed in any way can be found guilty of this offense. It is important to note that the law regarding the possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number does not require that the individual in possession of the firearm know that the firearm’s serial number is changed, from the reading of the law. This may create gray areas in the law because, while it may be obvious that a firearm’s serial number has been removed or obliterated, it may not be as obvious if there is a minor change in the serial number, which may have been done professionally without any indicia of change.

The law does not apply to individuals who make repairs or changes to their firearm which leads to the removal of the maker or model imprints to a firearm, as long as the serial number remains intact and unaltered.

Lastly, unlike most felonies which have a Statute of Limitations of three years, prosecutions brought for Possession of a Firearm with a Defaced Serial Number can occur anytime within six years from the commission of the offense.

The Sentence

  • Class 3 Felony
  • 2 to 5 years in state prison
  • Fine up to $25,000

Probation Possible? Yes.

Supervision Possible? No.

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