In Illinois, you have the right to gun ownership. However, if you use the weapon unlawfully, it can result in serious charges. Even if you have a clean criminal record, you can still face severe consequences and jail time.
Can you use self-defense as a valid argument against a weapons charge?
Weapons charge consequences
If the courts convict you of a crime involving a weapon, then you could lose your right to own a weapon. You can also lose your right to hunt. For military members, it can destroy your career. You can no longer serve in the armed forces once you have a felony weapons charge.
If coupled with another crime, the penalties may increase in severity. Assault with a weapon, for instance, can become a felony charge. If you used a gun or knife to stop another person from inflicting violence against you, did you break the law? In the U.S., all people have the right to protect themselves against violence. For those who use a weapon in defense of themselves or others did not use unlawful force.
For self-defense to be a valid argument, you must believe that you acted out of necessity. If you use a weapon against another person, then you must have a reason to fear great harm or death. You can also fear the death or harm of another person. If you do not act in defense of you, another person or property during a violent crime, it is unlawful force. If there is a threat, then self-defense must match the level of that threat.