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Article 24: Discharge of Firearm Crimes

Article 24: Discharge of Firearm Crimes

It is not only forbidden by Illinois law to own a firearm, but also to discharge one. In this section of Article 24 of the Illinois Criminal Code, legislators specifically discuss penalties for discharging a gun.

The first crime described is aggravated discharge of a firearm. There are many situations described in this clause that count as infractions. For example, anyone who fires a firearm into an occupied building, toward a peace officer, or into an ambulance can be criminally charged under this portion of Article 24. Depending on the severity of the crime, a violation is either a Class 1 felony or a Class X felony.

Similarly, this section also prohibits the reckless discharge of a firearm. If a person recklessly fires a gun and endangers someones safety, he or she has committed a Class 4 felony.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 24 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 24

(Text of Section from P.A. 96-41)
    (720 ILCS 5/24-1)

Sec. 24-1.2. Aggravated discharge of a firearm.
    (720 ILCS 5/24-1.2)

(a) A person commits aggravated discharge of a firearm when he or she knowingly or intentionally:

(1) Discharges a firearm at or into a building he or she knows or reasonably should know to be occupied and the firearm is discharged from a place or position outside that building;

(2) Discharges a firearm in the direction of another person or in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows or reasonably should know to be occupied by a person;

(3) Discharges a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be a peace officer, a community policing volunteer, a correctional institution employee, or a fireman while the officer, volunteer, employee or fireman is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the officer, volunteer, employee or fireman from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the officer, volunteer, employee or fireman performing his or her official duties;

(4) Discharges a firearm in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows to be occupied by a peace officer, a person summoned or directed by a peace officer, a correctional institution employee or a fireman while the officer, employee or fireman is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the officer, employee or fireman from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the officer, employee or fireman performing his or her official duties;

(5) Discharges a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be an emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel, employed by a municipality or other governmental unit, while the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel performing his or her official duties;

(6) Discharges a firearm in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows to be occupied by an emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel, employed by a municipality or other governmental unit, while the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel performing his or her official duties;

(7) Discharges a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be a teacher or other person employed in any school and the teacher or other employee is upon the grounds of a school or grounds adjacent to a school, or is in any part of a building used for school purposes;

(8) Discharges a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be an emergency management worker while the emergency management worker is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency management worker from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency management worker performing his or her official duties; or

(9) Discharges a firearm in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows to be occupied by an emergency management worker while the emergency management worker is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency management worker from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency management worker performing his or her official duties.

(b) A violation of subsection (a)(1) or subsection (a)(2) of this Section is a Class 1 felony. A violation of subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this Section committed in a school, on the real property comprising a school, within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a school, at a school related activity or on or within 1,000 feet of any conveyance owned, leased, or contracted by a school to transport students to or from school or a school related activity, regardless of the time of day or time of year that the offense was committed is a Class X felony. A violation of subsection (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), (a)(7), (a)(8), or (a)(9) of this Section is a Class X felony for which the sentence shall be a term of imprisonment of no less than 10 years and not more than 45 years.

(c) For purposes of this Section:

"School" means a public or private elementary or secondary school, community college, college, or university.

"School related activity" means any sporting, social, academic, or other activity for which students' attendance or participation is sponsored, organized, or funded in whole or in part by a school or school district. (Source: P.A. 94-243, eff. 1-1-06.)

Sec. 24-1.2-5. Aggravated discharge of a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm.
    (720 ILCS 5/24-1.2-5)

(a) A person commits aggravated discharge of a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm when he or she knowingly or intentionally:

(1) Discharges a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm at or into a building he or she knows to be occupied and the machine gun or the firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm is discharged from a place or position outside that building;

(2) Discharges a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm in the direction of another person or in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows to be occupied;

(3) Discharges a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be a peace officer, a person summoned or directed by a peace officer, a correctional institution employee, or a fireman while the officer, employee or fireman is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the officer, employee or fireman from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the officer, employee or fireman performing his or her official duties;

(4) Discharges a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows to be occupied by a peace officer, a person summoned or directed by a peace officer, a correctional institution employee or a fireman while the officer, employee or fireman is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the officer, employee or fireman from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the officer, employee or fireman performing his or her official duties;

(5) Discharges a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be an emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel, employed by a municipality or other governmental unit, while the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel performing his or her official duties;

(6) Discharges a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows to be occupied by an emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel, employed by a municipality or other governmental unit, while the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency medical technician - ambulance, emergency medical technician - intermediate, emergency medical technician - paramedic, ambulance driver, or other medical assistance or first aid personnel performing his or her official duties;

(7) Discharges a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm in the direction of a person he or she knows to be an emergency management worker while the emergency management worker is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency management worker from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency management worker performing his or her official duties; or

(8) Discharges a machine gun or a firearm equipped with a device designed or used for silencing the report of a firearm in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows to be occupied by an emergency management worker while the emergency management worker is engaged in the execution of any of his or her official duties, or to prevent the emergency management worker from performing his or her official duties, or in retaliation for the emergency management worker performing his or her official duties.

(b) A violation of subsection (a) (1) or subsection (a) (2) of this Section is a Class X felony. A violation of subsection (a) (3), (a) (4), (a) (5), (a) (6), (a) (7), or (a) (8) of this Section is a Class X felony for which the sentence shall be a term of imprisonment of no less than 12 years and no more than 50 years.

(c) For the purpose of this Section, "machine gun" has the meaning ascribed to it in clause (i) of paragraph (7) of subsection (a) of Section 24-1 of this Code. (Source: P.A. 94-243, eff. 1-1-06.)

Sec. 24-1.5. Reckless discharge of a firearm.
    (720 ILCS 5/24-1.5)

(a) A person commits reckless discharge of a firearm by discharging a firearm in a reckless manner which endangers the bodily safety of an individual.

(b) If the conduct described in subsection (a) is committed by a passenger of a moving motor vehicle with the knowledge and consent of the driver of the motor vehicle the driver is accountable for such conduct.

(c) Reckless discharge of a firearm is a Class 4 felony.

(d) This Section does not apply to a peace officer while in the performance of his or her official duties. (Source: P.A. 88-217.)

   Return to Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 Table of Contents

DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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