The Guardian newspaper undertook a major project to study gun crimes in the United States. The Guardian relied on data collected by the FBI as part of the Uniform Crime Reports. The crime database is incomplete because not all states collect data on gun crimes, specifically Alabama and Florida regarding gun murders.
The United States has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. In the U.S. there are enough firearms for 83 out of every 100 people to possess a weapon. To put that in perspective, the rate for England and Wales is 6 per 100 people.
In 2011, there were 12,664 murders in the United States of which, 8.583 were committed by people using firearms. In that year, Illinois had a total of 377 murders by firearm which represented a 4 percent increase from 2010. Moreover, a disproportionate amount of Illinois' gun crime, 83 percent, is related to murder. Illinois' gun-related murder rate is one of the highest in the country and tied with Louisiana.
But these numbers belay the overriding fact that all crime is on a downward trend in the United States. Moreover, gun crimes have fallen significantly since the 1970s.
If you were arrested on a weapons charge, then you may want to call a defense attorney as soon as possible. Weapons charges are usually attached to other crimes, like robbery, which serves to enhance the punishments you face. A defense attorney can help present a vigorous defense and, perhaps, get some enhancements reduced or removed from the list of charges.