Illinois Reckless Discharge of a Firearm

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/24-1.5

A person commits Reckless Discharge of a Firearm by discharging a firearm in a reckless manner which endangers the bodily safety of an individual.

While Illinois has a law which prohibits an individual from knowingly discharging a firearm in certain prohibited circumstances, Illinois also outlaws the reckless discharge of a firearm. A person is reckless when that person consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that a result will follow and that “disregard of the risk” constitutes gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise.

For instance, firing a weapon into the air for celebratory reasons would most likely amount to recklessness. This is because a reasonably prudent person would expect that a bullet fired into the air would fall back down and possibly injure an individual and, as a result, would refrain from such action.

Additionally, the Reckless Discharge of a Firearm law includes individuals who do not fire the weapon personally. A driver who has knowledge that a passenger in his vehicle plans on committing the discharging of a firearm and consents to it, can be accountable and be convicted just as the individual who actually fires the weapon.

The Sentence

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

Probation Possible? Yes.

Supervision Possible? No.

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