Can I Face Weapons Charges for Possession of “Ghost Guns?”
While the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, the laws surrounding guns and other weapons are constantly changing at both the state and federal levels. Because of this, many gun owners may not realize that they are in violation of the law, and they could potentially face weapons charges even if they believe that they have purchased firearms legally, obtained the correct licenses, and followed the law when carrying and using weapons. Some recent actions by the administration of President Joe Biden and a new law that was recently passed in Illinois may lead to criminal prosecution for selling or possessing “ghost guns.”
What Are Ghost Guns?
In recent years, law enforcement officials throughout the United States have become concerned about the proliferation of firearms that are purchased in kits and assembled by owners, as well as guns that may be created using 3D printers. These firearms do not have serial numbers, making them difficult to trace and track. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) has stated that around 20,000 of these guns were recovered in criminal investigations in 2021. This number was 10 times higher than the number of ghost guns recovered in 2016.
To address this issue, the Biden administration announced a new rule that will require all “buy-build-shoot” kits to include serial numbers. To sell these kits commercially, a person must have a federal license, and as with other types of firearm sales, background checks will be required.
Alongside the new rules at the federal level, the state of Illinois has also passed legislation to address ghost guns. All firearms, including 3D-printed guns and weapons assembled through kits, will be required to have serial numbers. Those who own existing ghost guns will be required to have them stamped with serial numbers within 180 days after the date the law goes into effect. Possession of a ghost gun in violation of the law will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, and a person who is convicted may face a prison sentence of up to one year. A second violation will be charged as a Class 3 felony, which may lead to a prison sentence of two to five years.
Contact Our Will County Weapons Charges Defense Lawyer
While the new Illinois law has not yet gone into effect, it may lead to multiple types of weapons charges for firearm owners in the future. Those who have been charged with unlawful possession of firearms, unlawful use of weapons, or other criminal offenses related to guns or other weapons will need to determine their best options for defense. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we work to protect our clients’ Second Amendment rights and help them address accusations that they have violated weapons laws. To schedule a free consultation and get the defense you need and deserve, contact our Joliet weapons violations attorney at 815-740-4025.