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posted on 6/17/22

The rules regarding automatic weapons are not simple, but most of these types of weapons are illegal to own and to use in Illinois. Even the mechanism that allows for automatic loading of the bullets is illegal. Exceptions are made for any gun that was manufactured before 1986 when the rules were drafted. These older guns have been grandfathered in, and you can own or sell them in some states, but not without a special permit, and not in Illinois where state law prohibits the possession and sale of these weapons.

Now, one Chicago official has been charged with attempting to sell an illegal automatic weapon while he was carrying out duties for the government. The official has been charged with arranging the sale of an illegal weapon and official misconduct.

Illinois law makes it illegal to own or possess a machine gun. Federal law requires special licensing that is handled primarily by the ATF.

Weapons Charges for Illegal Machine Guns

Illinois considers it a felony to possess a machine gun or arrange for the sale of a machine gun in the state. Only automatic weapons are considered machine guns. An automatic weapon can discharge multiple bullets with a single trigger press. AR-15s and other commercially available “assault weapons” cannot. A semi-automatic weapon only allows the next bullet to be reloaded using the recoil of the shot before, unless it has been altered in some way by the owner.

In Illinois, it is a class-2 felony to own, possess, or arrange the sale of an illegal weapon. The sentencing range on such a charge is three to seven years if convicted.

How Was the Defendant Superintendent Caught?

ATF set up a sting when the official tried to sell the gun. He unknowingly sold the gun to an ATF agent who then charged him with a crime. It appears he was charged under state law, which affords longer sentences in gun possession cases and makes it illegal to own certain types of weapons that are legal under federal law.

Was the Weapon Illegal Under Federal Law?

No. MP40s were manufactured during WWII and while they do require special authorization to own, they are not illegal under federal law. It is unclear if the official had the special licensing required to own the gun, but even still, he was in violation of Illinois State law. The gun could have been stored in another state and the sale arranged legally with the proper licensing. Most of these weapons are now considered collector’s items. Nonetheless, they can kill a lot of people very quickly.

Talk to a Chicago Weapons Charges Lawyer Today

If you need representation for a criminal charge in Cook County, Glasgow & Olsson is uniquely qualified to help. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact us today to learn how our experience can get you the results you deserve.