What Is an Unlawful Use of a Weapon Charge in Illinois?


Being charged with a firearms offense in Illinois is a serious matter that requires swift and strategic action.

Under Illinois law, an individual may be charged with unlawful use of a firearm if they are found to possess a firearm without the proper license or permit or if they have certain prior convictions on their record. This charge can carry severe penalties and can have a significant impact on an individual’s future.

If you have been charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon, also known as UUW, you will need an experienced weapons attorney who knows how to fight these charges. Most gun charges are felonies in Illinois, which are serious offenses if convicted.

Hirsch Law Group has fought thousands of gun cases in Chicago and 12 counties across Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Will County, Kendall County, Kankakee County, Boone County, Lake County, McHenry County, Kane County, Winnebago County, DeKalb County, and Grundy County.


A Person Can Be Charged With Unlawful Use of a Weapon if They:


  1. Carry or possess with intent to use the weapon. This can consist of any kind of dangerous weapon, including but not limited to guns, knives, razors, broken glass, stilettos, tasers, a baseball bat, etc.

  2. Sell, purchase, manufacture, or possess any slingshot, bludgeon, sandbag, metal knuckles, throwing star, or switchblade knife with a blade that opens by hand pressure.

  3. Carries and possesses a weapon with intent to use against someone else in a church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or other place of worship.

  4. Carries in person or in a vehicle a tear gas gun projector or any object containing bomb or non-lethal noxious liquid gas or substance made for personal defense such as mace or pepper spray.

  5. Possess a gun, revolver, stun gun, taser, or other firearm except when on his own land or property, place of business, or invited to another person’s legal dwelling or property. If transporting weapons, they need to be broken down and not functioning, not immediately accessible, or unloaded in a case.

  6. Set a spring gun.

  7. Possession of a silencer

  8. Sells, purchases, possesses, manufactures or carries:

    •  a machine gun

    • rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length

    • shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length

    • any altered rifle or shotgun with a length of less than 26 inches

    • bomb, grenade, or bottle containing explosive materials over a quarter ounce, such as Molotov cocktails.

  9. Possess a deadly weapon such as a gun or taser in an establishment licensed to sell liquor, a public gathering, or a demonstration involving the exhibition of unloaded firearms is conducted. This does not apply to people engaged in firearm safety training courses, firearm auctions, or raffles.

  10. Possess a deadly weapon while they are hooded, masked, or robbed in such a manner to conceal their identity.

  11. Carries or possess a weapon in public for the purpose of displaying the weapon.

  12. Manufactures, sells, or purchases any explosive bullet

  13. Carries or possess a weapon while in a government building

For more information on unlawful use of a weapon, visit 720 ILCS 5/24-1


Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Unlawful Use of a Weapon Charges


Illinois gun laws are complex and constantly changing, making it crucial to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer who is up-to-date on the current laws and knows how to navigate them. An unlawful use of a weapon conviction can carry severe penalties, including prison time, steep fines, and a permanent criminal record. Additionally, a previous felony conviction on your record can increase penalties for a UUW charge.

Law enforcement officers are trained to gather evidence and build a case against you. It can be challenging to fight these charges and protect your rights without proper legal representation. A criminal defense lawyer with experience in UUW cases will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your charge and build a strong defense strategy on your behalf.


Award-Winning Illinois Unlawful Use of a Weapon Attorneys

Our team of experienced weapons attorneys is versed in the criminal defense of those facing unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) charges. Too often, people who have been charged with UUW did not even intend to break the law, but they got caught and are now facing felony criminal charges.

These unfortunate circumstances can affect the rest of their lives if they do not have an attorney experienced in criminal weapons defense. Too often, people facing gun charges do not have quality legal representation, which can result in them serving many years in prison and becoming a convicted felons.

Conviction of any weapons charge can also leave you vulnerable for an Armed Habitual Criminal charge if you run into trouble again. Armed Habitual Criminal is a Class X felony with a sentence of 6 – 30 years if convicted. People with multiple weapons convictions are more at risk of facing Armed Habitual Criminal charges.

At Hirsh Law Group, we are proud to have a team of award-winning firearm attorneys who have successfully defended clients facing unlawful use of weapon charges. Our attorneys understand the intricacies of gun laws in Illinois and will work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for your case.

If you are facing unlawful use of a weapon charges, do not hesitate to contact us. Our dedicated team of attorneys will provide the expert legal representation you need to fight these charges and protect your rights. We have a proven track record of success in defending individuals charged with UUW and will do everything in our power to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.