Illinois Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Possession of Firearm Ammunition

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/24-3.1

A person commits the offense of Unlawful Possession of Firearms or Firearm Ammunition when:

  1. They are under 18 years of age and have in their possession any firearm of a size which may be concealed upon the person; or

  2. They are under 21 years of age, have been convicted of a misdemeanor other than a traffic offense or adjudged delinquent and have any firearms or firearm ammunition in their possession; or

  3. They are a narcotic addict and have any firearms or firearm ammunition in their possession; or

  4. They have been a patient in a mental institution within the past 5 years and have any firearms or firearm ammunition in their possession; or

  5. They are intellectually disabled and has any firearms or firearm ammunition in their possession; or

  6. They are in possession any explosive bullet.

The Unlawful Possession of Firearms or Firearm Ammunition is the Illinois state law which sets out which individuals are not allowed to possess either firearms or ammunition. The law has been subject to many challenges in court and has been upheld based on the fact that it is necessary to achieve a compelling governmental interest, namely to keep certain classes of individuals from possessing firearms, thereby keeping members of the general public safe.

Additionally, the law makes clear that a person under the age of 18 may participate in lawful recreational activity with firearms, which may include hunting, trapping or target range shooting. Of note in this law is that each firearm or firearm ammunition in violation of this law constitutes a single and separate violation. Thus, if an individual listed above is found in possession of three weapons, then that individual would face three separate charges of Unlawful Possession of Firearms or Firearm Ammunition.

The Sentence

Unlawful Possession of Firearms, Other Than Handguns, and Ammunition

  • Class A Misdemeanor
  • Up to 364 days in county jail
  • Fine up to $2,500

Unlawful Possession of Handguns

  • Class 4 Felony
  • 1 to 3 years in state prison
  • Fine up to $25,000

Probation Possible? Yes.

Supervision Possible? Yes, on Misdemeanor Charges.

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