The unlawful possession of a weapon is generally taken very seriously. Even if the weapon is not used to cause anyone harm, the concern remains that it could be intended for such use. The laws surrounding weapon possession vary from state to state and something that may be acceptable in one state may get you into trouble in another. It is important to know the laws of the state you are in at any given time in order to avoid criminal charges.
Possessing a weapon can also exacerbate charges for other offences such as theft. Furthermore, a situation that may have been excused as innocent may appear more suspicious to authorities if there is a weapon involved. On top of this, you do not even need to have the weapon on your person to face legal repercussions. One man in Illinois learned this the hard way after police allegedly found a handgun in his apartment.
The 31-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a domestic battery case. He is then said to have asked officers to take some items of his personal clothing to his apartment. Unfortunately for him, the officers spotted the handgun on his apartment floor and collected it. After allegedly admitting that the gun was his, he was sentenced to three years in the Department of Corrections.
The charge against him related to him being a felon in possession of a weapon. It is important to remember that certain criminal charges can affect your right to possess a weapon even if it would normally be permissible under state law. An attorney can help you understand your rights and may be able to assist you in your defense against the allegations you face.
Source: Murphysboro American, "Howard sentenced to three years for possession," Aug. 1, 2014