Illinois Possession of a Stolen Firearm

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/24-3.8

A person commits Possession of a Stolen Firearm when he or she, not being entitled to the possession of a firearm, possesses the firearm, knowing it to have been stolen.

Illinois prohibits an individual from merely possessing a stolen firearm, regardless of whether or not that firearm is being used for unlawful purposes. From a reading of the statute, the offense is committed when: 1) an individual not being entitled to the possession of a weapon 2) possesses a stolen firearm and 3) the person possessing the weapon knows it to have been stolen.

The State must prove all three elements above before a person can be convicted of Possession of a Stolen Firearm. However, from the wording of the statute, it appears that if a person possesses a valid Firearms Owner Identification card and is otherwise lawfully entitled to possess any weapon, the State will not succeed on a charge of Possession of a Stolen Firearm.

However, if the possessor is not lawfully entitled to possess a weapon, then the charge in fact can most likely be proved. A judge or jury may also consider the fact that there was an altered or removed serial number on a firearm. This fact will tend to support a reasonable inference that the individual in possession of the stolen firearm knew that it was in fact stolen.

The Sentence

  • Class 2 Felony
  • 3 to 7 years in state prison
  • Fine up to $25,000

Probation Possible? Yes

Supervision Possible? No

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