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Unlawful Possession Penalties

In Gun Laws by Paul HigginsLeave a Comment

The penalties for carrying a firearm without a permit/license varies widely across all the US States. Penalties for felons convicted of illegal possession of a firearm range from misdemeanors to felonies with a mandatory minimum sentence. The penalties for persons with no felony convictions who are convicted of unlicensed carry are generally lower but can still be severe in some states and also range from misdemeanors, felonies, and mandatory imprisonment. Illegal firearm possession laws generally but not always categorize offenders into three classes with penalties increasing depending on the class. The three classes are;

  • Minimum Age

    A person under the minimum age is usually treated more leniantly

  • No Felony Convictions

    A person with no felony convictions will receive a middle range penalty

  • With Felony Convictions

    With felony convictions the penalties get tougher

WARNING

The following states have a mandatory sentence of imprisonment for unlicensed carrying of a firearm outside a home or business - click this box to see states

Mandatory Prison Sentences

New York - 3.5 years
Massachusetts - 18 months

The following list describes the general criminal penalties for failure to comply with permit requirements. The penalties apply to a person without any felony convictions. This is not a full list and there are many more states with criminal penalties for carrying a gun without a permit.

No Felony Convictions

StateClass of CrimePunishmentStatute
CaliforniaPurchase handgun without safety certificate: misdemeanorpunishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or bothCal. Penal Code § 31615
ConnecticutPurchase or receive handgun without permit or eligibility certificate: class D felonypunishable by one to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000, or bothCGS § 29-33
D.C.Possess without registration certificateUp to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or bothD.C. Code Ann. §§ 7-2502.01, 7-2507.06
HawaiiAcquire firearm without a permit: misdemeanorpunishable by up to one year's imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000, or bothHaw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 134-2, 134-3, 134-17
Failing to register firearm: petty misdemeanorpunishable by up to 30 days imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both
IllinoisIf person possesses or acquires handgun and the person's Firearm Owner's Identification Card is expired but the person is not otherwise disqualified from renewing it: class A misdemeanorpunishable by less than one year's imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,500, or both430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/2, 65/14
If the person does not possess a valid ID card (other than an expired one as specified above), but is otherwise eligible: first offense is a class A misdemeanor (see above). Subsequent offense is a class 4 felonypunishable by one to three years imprisonment, a fine of up to $25,000, or both
If (1) the person's ID card has been revoked or is subject to revocation, (2) the card is expired and not eligible for renewal, or (3) the person does not possess a valid card and is not otherwise eligible, the penalty is a class 3 felonypunishable by two to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $25,000, or both
IowaAcquire handgun without a permit: aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years imprisonment, a fine of $625 to $6,250, or bothIowa Code § 724.16
MassachusettsPossess without license: first offense:up to two years in prison or jail, a fine of up to $500, or bothMass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 140, § 129C; ch. 269, § 10
Subsequent offense:up to two years imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both
Possess without license outside of home or place of businessfrom 2.5 to five years imprisonment, or 18 months to 2.5 years in jail; with a mandatory minimum of 18 months
MichiganObtain without permit: misdemeanorpunishable by up to 90 days imprisonment, a fine of up to $100, or bothMich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§ 28.422, 750.232a
MinnesotaAcquire without permit: gross misdemeanorpunishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $3,000, or bothMinn. Stat. § 624.7132
NebraskaPurchase without certificate: class I misdemeanorpunishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or bothNeb. Rev. St. §§ 69-2403, 69-2408
New JerseyPossess without permit: 3rd degree crimepunishable by three to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $15,000, or both (can be 2nd degree crime if gun meets certain specifications)N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:39-5, 2C:58-4
New YorkPossess without permit: class A misdemeanorpunishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or bothN.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.01, 265.03, 265.20
Possess loaded firearm without permit, outside of person's home or place of business: class C felony, classified as violent felony offensepunishable by up to 15 years imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum of 3.5 years
North CarolinaPurchase or receive without permit: Class 2 misdemeanorpunishable by up to six months imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or bothN.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-402
Rhode IslandPurchase without safety certificateUp to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or bothR.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-26, 11-47-35

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