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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

Illinois Gun Laws: What You Should Know?

As we all know, the Second Amendment of the Constitution states that American citizens each have an individual right to bear arms.

What does this even mean?

This means that the government cannot infringe on your right to arm yourself because this amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm. It is a citizen’s constitutional right to own and possess a firearm and use it lawfully; for purposes of self-defense— to protect themselves and to protect their home.

As of January 10, 2023, a new House Bill 5471 was passed, pending Governor Pritzker's signature. The new House Bill 5471 bans the possession, purchase, delivery and sale of semi-automatic firearms in the state of Illinois. This soon-to-be law began with the Protect Illinois Communities Act which is a collective of new bills to be passed and was developed in response to the Highland Park, Illinois tragedy. Many US citizens do not use their legally registered firearms for such horrific and destructive purposes. For most citizens, they use such firearms for self-defense, hunting or other law-abiding recreational activities, such as competitions at the gun range. Current gun owners will be permitted to be ‘grandfathered in’, so long as they register their semi-automatic firearms within the first 300 days of the bill being passed. If you are ‘grandfathered in', it is essential that you know that you are solely responsible for your own firearm. This is important to know because individuals who currently own such firearms, cannot afford to be negligent with registering them. Failure to do so is in violation of state and federal law and can have serious penalties of up to $1000 in fines, and even up to two years of imprisonment. Being in possession of an illegal (unregistered) firearm can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor or even a felony, depending on the circumstances and if there were any prior convictions.

So how does all of this information affect parents and children?

Americans have been known to be more likely to die from unintentional gun injuries compared to people who live in other countries. As we know, unsafely stored firearms increase the risk of unintentional firearm injuries and deaths, especially if there are children in the home! This is something to be extra vigilant of if you are a gun owner and are in the middle of a divorce or custody battle. It is very easy for the other party to point out that you are a gun owner and address their concerns of safety issues within the home or regarding the children if and when they are in your care. Always keep your gun in a gun safe, away from your children! Never threaten to use it unlawfully! Always be responsible and abide by the laws that protect and regulate gun owners. As previously stated, American citizens have the right to exercise their Second Amendment right. In light of this new bill being passed, it is important for gun owners to be responsible and be aware of the most up-to-date laws. Remember that if you have children living in your home, or you have visitation rights with your children, it is crucial that you store your guns in a gun safe where they cannot get access to it. While we have the right to bear arms, we must remember to abide by new laws and to be responsible, law-abiding gun owners and citizens.

If you want to learn more about this topic and Family Law, contact Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600 or email

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