Unlawful Possession Penalties

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

State Class of Crime Punishment Statute
California Purchase handgun without safety certificate: misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both Cal. Penal Code § 31615
Connecticut Purchase or receive handgun without permit or eligibility certificate: class D felony punishable by one to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000, or both CGS § 29-33
D.C. Possess without registration certificate Up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both D.C. Code Ann. §§ 7-2502.01, 7-2507.06
Hawaii Acquire firearm without a permit: misdemeanor punishable by up to one year's imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000, or both Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 134-2, 134-3, 134-17
Failing to register firearm: petty misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both
Illinois If 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 misdemeanor punishable by less than one year's imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,500, or both 430 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 felony punishable 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 felony punishable by two to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $25,000, or both
Iowa Acquire handgun without a permit: aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years imprisonment, a fine of $625 to $6,250, or both Iowa Code § 724.16
Massachusetts Possess without license: first offense: up to two years in prison or jail, a fine of up to $500, or both Mass. 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 business from 2.5 to five years imprisonment, or 18 months to 2.5 years in jail; with a mandatory minimum of 18 months
Michigan Obtain without permit: misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days imprisonment, a fine of up to $100, or both Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§ 28.422, 750.232a
Minnesota Acquire without permit: gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $3,000, or both Minn. Stat. § 624.7132
Nebraska Purchase without certificate: class I misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both Neb. Rev. St. §§ 69-2403, 69-2408
New Jersey Possess without permit: 3rd degree crime punishable 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 York Possess without permit: class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both N.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 offense punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum of 3.5 years
North Carolina Purchase or receive without permit: Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to six months imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-402
Rhode Island Purchase without safety certificate Up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-26, 11-47-35

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Patrick
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Patrick

What if you got unlawful possession of a firearm because you get possession of a controlled substance that a class d felony in and it’s your first time in Missouri .still no letter for say when my court date is

Anthony Waller
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Anthony Waller

What about unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of a weapon in Tennessee, first offense if convicted?

BILL PERRO
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BILL PERRO

Upstate NY CCW holder for many years and have family in long Island Counties,is there a legal way to transport in my vehicle through Bronx and Queen’s ?

LONNIE BROWN
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LONNIE BROWN

Why haven’t Florida been added to this list??i live in Florida and need to update my knowledge of Florida laws in many different law aspects

J.P
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J.P

I am a non violent felon who lives in Mid Missouri, I know that the latest attempt to allow felons to receive there gun rights back was axed. I feel I was lumped into a group that obviously doesn’t deserve to have those rights back. I know once a felon always a felon right, well have you ever drank and drove? That’s mine, all I am saying is I, I served my time successfully completed any and all sentencing, I should have my rights restored. It is my constitutional right is it not, The Federal and state Regulation conflict with… Read more »

QuickDraw McGraw
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QuickDraw McGraw

Make sure you get a brain. In the next life. In this life, you’re hosed

Mohammed al Shabab bin Futon bin Drinkin
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Mohammed al Shabab bin Futon bin Drinkin

Move to Yemen. I hear they all carry over there.

Alfred Baptist
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Alfred Baptist

From my understanding. Felons lose all there rights. As far as protecting your home do what you could afford.

Dude
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Dude

There is no board of pardons in your state?

T.C.
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T.C.

I will have a Non-Res. VA. CCW & a Res. NV. CCW, Where am I not covered?

American patriot
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American patriot

Wow, lots of infringement going on in those states. I wonder if they understand what “shall not be infringed “ means? Nah… of course they don’t

Fossie
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Fossie

I live in AZ and I can go to a gun store or on line an buy a gun with out any kind of permit other then a background ck. I can open carry or conceal carry without a permit

locklear
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locklear

i have a north Carolina conceal permit what state will recognize my permit

Wayne
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