Possessing a firearm has become mainstream worldwide, especially in the United States. Chicago has always been associated with higher rates of gun violence. Maybe that’s why Chicago’s gun laws are stringent and can put you behind bars for a long time.
If you ever find yourself accused of a firearm charge, it’s best to hire a weapons attorney to help you. You can click here to know more about different laws regarding the unlawful use of weapons and find the best attorneys who will fight for you.
Many gun owners often use their firearms where they are not necessary, putting them in legal trouble. Here are four such gun blunders that can land you in jail.
Brandishing is one of the biggest mistakes gun owners make. Many people charged with brandishing often argue that they didn’t even point the gun at someone. Unfortunately, the weapon doesn’t have to be pointed at someone to make the brandishing charges valid. Even holding a gun with the intent to cause fear in others’ minds can lead to a brandishing conviction.
It doesn’t mean that you should not be prepared to access your firearm if threatened. However, you should be aware that you will be charged with brandishing if there is no lawful justification for your gun access.
2. Castle Doctrine
The state of Illinois provides its citizens with certain rights to defend themselves and use reasonable force (including deadly force) if an intruder unlawfully enters their homes and threatens them with violence.
One such right is Castle Doctrine. One thing that distinguishes Castle Doctrine from “Stand Your Ground” right is that you cannot use reasonable or deadly force against the intruder if you are outside your house.
This may seem like a minor difference, but it could affect your case drastically, depending on the circumstances. Many gun owners fail to distinguish between these and use their firearms where it is not needed.
You always have the right to defend and protect your home, but it’s best to avoid using a firearm as much as possible.
3. Accidental Discharge
With major cities in the country getting more populated, the crime rates have also increased. More Americans have access to firearms than at any time in history.
Though the firearm possession number is an all-time high, many gun owners do not have the necessary knowledge and expertise to use the gun appropriately. Firearms are complex to use, store and maintain, and many gun owners often discharge their firearms mistakenly and face legal troubles.
This is because even an accidental or negligent discharge can hurt people. Though many accidental discharge cases go unnoticed in rural areas, they can become even more lethal in urban areas. Some bullets can even penetrate through walls and cause injury and/or property damage.
As a result, even though the discharge is accidental, it can lead to Level 6 felony in most cases.
4. Carrying a licensed gun everywhere
All Illinois State residents need to have a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card to carry their guns legally. Though the card allows you to carry your firearm with you for safety purposes, it is still illegal to carry it in many public places. This can lead to mishaps and even put people’s lives in danger.
It would be best to avoid carrying your firearm in or around federal buildings, airports, local government buildings and other public spaces. It can lead to criminal charges, confiscation, or it might even revoke your firearm license too.
Gun ownership comes with major responsibilities. Though your intentions may be right, once the bullet leaves the barrel, you cannot change its trajectory. Likewise, you cannot reverse the outcomes of your gun use. It’s a matter of life and death. So, exercise your right responsibly, and do your part in keeping everyone around you safe.