Illinois Unlawful Purchase of a Firearm

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/24-3.5

A person commits Unlawful Purchase of a Firearm when he or she:

  1. Knowingly purchases or attempts to purchase a firearm with the intent to deliver that firearm to another person who is prohibited by federal or state law from possessing firearm; or

  2. Intentionally provides false or misleading information on a United States Department of Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms firearms transaction record form when purchasing or attempting to purchase a firearm.

Two types of actions can qualify as Unlawful Purchase of a Firearm in Illinois. The first has to do with straw purchases. This is when an individual who is lawfully entitled to the purchase and possess a firearm transfers the purchased firearm to one who is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. An example of an individual who is not lawfully entitled to possessing firearm includes a convicted felon or a minor. The term “transfer” is not defined in the law, thus simply allowing a person who is not allowed to possess a firearm to borrow it for any reason may lead to the lawfully entitled individual to be subject to prosecution and conviction.

In addition, simply providing misleading or false statements on certain forms associated with the purchase of a firearm can qualify as Unlawful Purchase of a Firearm. Simple, apparently innocuous information, if false, can constitute a commission of the offense. For instance, knowingly supplying a false place of birth can constitute Unlawful Purchase of a Firearm, even if the individual is otherwise entitled to purchase or possess a firearm.

Additionally, while most felonies can only be prosecuted within 3 years, the Unlawful Purchase of a Firearm law allows an individual to be prosecuted within 6 years after the commission of the offense.

The Sentence

Purchasing or Attempting to Purchase 1 Firearm

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

Purchasing or Attempting to Purchase 2 to 5 Firearms

  • Class 1 Felony
  • 4 to 15 years in state prison
  • Fine up to $25,000

Purchasing or Attempting to Purchase at least 6 Firearms within a 2 Year Period

  • Class X Felony
  • 6 to 30 years in state prison
  • Fine up to $250,000

Probation Possible? Yes on Class 1 or 2 Felonies

Supervision Possible? No.

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