Charged for Bringing a Gun to Chicago Airport? Fight Back
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might break the law completely by accident. This is particularly true where firearms are concerned.
Many people think they have done their due diligence regarding carrying firearms in Illinois. Unfortunately, our laws are incredibly complicated, and it is not uncommon for individuals to find out in a very inconvenient way that they are breaking the law. In most cases, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act is to blame.
Most often, this occurs with an otherwise law-abiding citizen who travels from city to city or state to state. Even if you have the necessary documentation to carry a firearm in Illinois, there are certain places they are never allowed. If you try to bring a firearm into these places, you will be charged with a crime. The Illinois statute covering such crimes can be found at 430 ILCS 66/65.
If you have found yourself in the unfortunate position of being charged with attempting to bring a firearm into a prohibited place in Illinois, do not panic – The Law Offices of Andrew M. Weisberg can help.
Understanding the Illinois Concealed Weapons Act
In Illinois, it is legal to carry a concealed handgun if you have a permit to do so. It is important to note that only handguns qualify under this law. You can never carry a rifle, assault rifle, shotgun, or long gun as a concealed weapon.
Many assume that once they have the appropriate permit and FOID card, they are free to carry their concealed handguns anywhere they please in our state. Sadly, this assumption is what leads people to trouble. As mentioned above, there are several places where it is illegal, even with proper documentation, to carry a concealed handgun.
Where Is It Illegal to Carry a Concealed Handgun in Illinois?
The list of places where it is strictly prohibited to carry a concealed weapon under the Illinois Concealed Carry Law is surprisingly extensive. They include:
- Public schools
- Private schools
- Preschools or Childcare Facilities
- Court Buildings
- Government Buildings
- Hospitals or residential care facilities
- Correctional Facilities
- Public Parks or Playgrounds
- Amusement parks
- Horse Racing Facilities
- Gambling Houses
- Nuclear Facilities
- Businesses with Posted “No Firearms” Signs
- Federal Government Buildings, including Post Offices and National Cemeteries
Mr. Weisberg receives many calls from people who have the legal authority to carry a concealed handgun but still find themselves at odds with the law because they did not realize they were carrying in a prohibited area. One of the most frequent places this happens is in airports.
When You Carry Firearms in an Illinois Airport, Watch Out
Never attempt to carry a firearm, even one you are carrying legally, through a TSA checkpoint at an airport, onto a plane operated by a commercial airline, or into the secured area of an airport. Doing so can result in legal consequences. In fact, the Transportation Security Agency finds those violating the law quite frequently in Chicago airports.
Penalties for Concealed Carry Violations
Andrew M. Weisberg has years of experience when it comes to dealing with violations that stem from Illinois’ Concealed Carry Act. If you get arrested, you automatically get a criminal record and will face substantial penalties if charged. That is why you should seek help from an experienced and skilled attorney. What kind of consequences do you face?
The first time you get caught with a concealed handgun in an Illinois airport – or any other prohibited place – you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. This type of misdemeanor can put you in jail for up to six months and make you responsible for paying fines as high as $1,500 plus court costs.
Those caught a second time violating the law will receive a Class A misdemeanor. Consequences can include a jail sentence of up to 12 months and the payment of fines for as much as $2,500. You also can have your license to carry a concealed weapon suspended for as long as six months due to a conviction.
Under the Influence
It is also important to note that it is illegal in Illinois to carry a concealed weapon under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other intoxicating compound. A first or second offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor. A third violation will result in charges for a Class 4 felony. You also risk permanently losing your ability to get a permit for concealed carry.
What If You’re Not From Illinois?
Some states offer reciprocity for firearm licenses and will recognize concealed carry permits from other states. That is not the case in Illinois. Our state does not recognize valid concealed carry licenses without first getting a non-resident license to carry a firearm from Illinois.
You can, however, legally transport your firearms through the state in your vehicle and store them in your vehicle. The only caveat is that the weapon must remain in your vehicle the whole time.
Can You Legally Carry Firearms in Illinois Airports?
If you are traveling and want to bring your firearms, it is important to prepare beforehand and brush up on the rules. Check the laws regarding firearms at your destination, any rules the TSA has in place, and the specific rules of the commercial airline you are traveling on.
Andrew M. Weisberg: Experience You Can Count On to Fight an Illinois Concealed Carry Charge
If you were arrested for carrying a firearm in an airport or any other prohibited place in Illinois, you need a knowledgeable attorney to build your defense. Mr. Weisberg has helped with countless cases like these, and he understands the ins and outs of the law and what to do to give you the best chance of getting your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
Do not play games with your future. Contact Andrew M. Weisberg for a free initial consultation today.