The United States has historically been a gun-toting nation. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 1,300 children die each year due to firearm-related reasons and another 5,790 are treated for injuries. In response to this, laws called child access prevention laws have been established in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Violations of child access prevention laws can result in criminal gun charges.
Illinois’ Child Access Prevention Law
The child access prevention law in Illinois can be found in the Criminal Code of 2012. The law states that it is unlawful for any person to store or leave their firearm in a place that a child under the age of 14 could gain access to it. The law only applies to situations in which the person has reason to believe that the child is likely to gain access to the firearm and the child use the firearm to commit great bodily harm or death to another person or themselves. The law does not apply in a situation in which the firearm is:
- Secured by a device other than the firearm safety mechanism that is designed to render a firearm temporarily inoperable;
- Stored in a securely locked box or container;
- Stored in another location that a reasonable person would think was secured against a minor under the age of 14;
- Used by the minor as an act of self defense or in the defense of another person; or
- Used by the minor as a result of the minor or another person trespassing on the property.
This crime is classified as a Class C misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class A misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. Offenders face fines of not less than $1,000 and up to 30 days in prison for a first offense. Anyone who commits a second or subsequent offense faces fines of not less than $1,000 and up to a year in jail.
Are You Facing a Child Access Prevention Law Violation? An Illinois Gun Crimes Defense Attorney Can Help
It can be tragic when a child is injured and it is even more tragic when the parent is the reason the child was able to injure themselves or others. If you have been charged with violating Illinois’ child access prevention law, you need the immediate help of a Joliet gun crimes defense lawyer. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can help keep you from receiving a conviction and keep your record clear. Call the office at 815-740-4025 to schedule a consultation and get your defense started.