Illinois has strict laws when it comes to weapons. Anyone carrying a melee weapon, firearm, or even a taser without a permit could face unlawful use of weapons (UUW) charges. What's considered an unlawful use of weapons in Illinois? Allow us to explain.
What is a UUW?
There are two kinds of unlawful use of weapons charges, though they vary in severity. The first describes unlicensed or concealed firearms. The other refers to melee weapons.
You may carry a concealed melee weapon in Illinois without issue. However, law enforcement may file UUW charges if you have the weapon on your person, and they believe you had intent to commit an unlawful activity. Additionally, blades less than 3 inches in length, such as a pocketknife, are not generally classified as weapons.
For example, having a straight razor in your pocket isn't UUW. However, intending to commit a crime while having a blade in your pocket is.
While the prosecution has the burden of proof in demonstrating intent, it's always a wise idea to consult an experienced defense attorney familiar with defending against claims of intent.
Can I Carry a Firearm?
If you are a resident of Illinois and you own a firearm, you must have a Firearm Owner's Identification Card (FOID).
If you wish to take your weapon out in public, you must obtain a Concealed Carry Permit (CCP). Failing to present your CCP while in possession of a firearm will result in a UUW.
Failing to present your FOID and having a loaded firearm can elevate a misdemeanor UUW charge to a more serious Aggravated UUW, which is a Class 4 felony. For that reason, you should always fully understand Illinois weapon laws before going in public with your firearm.
Additionally, Illinois residents seeking to keep a stun gun and taser also require a FOID and should have it on them whenever they bring their weapon in public.
UUWs are extremely delicate. If you were accused of UUW or Aggravated UUW, you should contact an attorney immediately. If you'd like to discuss your case with an experienced Arlington Heights criminal attorney from Ahmad Law Firm to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (847) 791-2294.