3 Common Felony Gun Charges in Illinois

Relative to other states, Illinois is known for its strict gun laws. To legally own a firearm, you must have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. There are even more restrictions on transporting a firearm or otherwise having your gun in public. 

Unlawfully using your firearm can sometimes give rise to other crimes that aren’t always gun-related, such as murder, attempted murder, or manslaughter. Short of loss of life, though, there are several felony gun charges that can have you facing years in prison. This blog gives an overview of three such charges:

1. Unlawful Use of a Weapon. This charge is usually a misdemeanor, but it can be bumped up to a felony if the unlawful use occurred in a venue that sells alcohol or at certain government events. One way someone might be charged with unlawful use of a weapon is if he or she is transporting a gun that is immediately accessible and not broken down, or otherwise not complying with concealed carry laws. Even possessing some types of dangerous weapons, like switchblades or billy clubs, can earn you this criminal charge. 

2. Aggravated Discharge of a Weapon. In this month’s previous blog, we took a look at para-athlete Oscar Pistorius and the crimes he was charged with in connection with his girlfriend’s shooting death. While he was first convicted of culpable homicide (similar to involuntary manslaughter) and eventually found guilty of murder, there are some elements of the crime of aggravated discharge of a weapon in the actions Pistorius took at his South Africa home. 

The aggravated discharge of a weapon in relation to a firearm essentially means that an individual fired his or her gun in the direction of other people (or toward vehicles or structures that reasonably could have contained people at the time of the shooting). What separates this from attempted murder is the intent behind the firearm discharge. This charge can be classified as either a Class 1 Felony, with 4-15 years in prison, or a Class X Felony, mandating 10-45 years in prison. 

3. Reckless Discharge of a Weapon. This charge has some similarities to aggravated discharge of a weapon. Illinois law states that reckless discharge of a weapon occurs when someone “[discharges] a firearm in a reckless manner which endangers the bodily safety of an individual.” This crime is a Class 4 Felony, which is punishable by up to three years in prison. 


As with any felony, these gun charges should be defended against by an aggressive and motivated criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Abdallah Law work tirelessly for their clients, and it shows in the outcomes they are able to secure. Want to see what Abdallah Law can do for your situation? Give the firm a call today at (312) 229-0008 to begin with a free consultation into your case.

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