Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms Charges in Illinois

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Illinois Criminal Law » Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms Charges in Illinois

The crime of Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms in Illinois is defined by 720 ILCS 5/24-5 as follows:


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(a) Any person who shall knowingly or intentionally change, alter, remove or obliterate the name of the importer’s or manufacturer’s serial number of any firearm commits a Class 2 felony.

(b) A person who possesses any firearm upon which any such importer’s or manufacturer’s serial number has been changed, altered, removed or obliterated commits a Class 3 felony.

(c) Nothing in this Section shall prevent a person from making repairs, replacement of parts, or other changes to a firearm if those repairs, replacement of parts, or changes cause the removal of the name of the maker, model, or other marks of identification other than the serial number on the firearm’s frame or receiver.


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(d) A prosecution for a violation of this Section may be commenced within 6 years after the commission of the offense.

The charge of Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms under Illinois law is often filed against those who are accused of removing the serial number from a gun, or those who possess a gun that has a removed serial number.

Unlike many crimes in Illinois, charges for Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms can be filed as late as 6 years after the alleged removal of the serial number or alleged possession of the firearm that lacked a serial number.


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The Class 2 Felony charge of Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms under Illinois law caries a prison sentence of 3-7 years, while the Class 3 Felony version is punishable by 3-5 years in prison. A person who is convicted of Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms is also prohibited from possessing firearms in the future, as the crime of Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms is a felony in Illinois.

Those facing Defacing Identification Marks of Firearms charges in Illinois are wise to seek an attorney at once, as the case is a serious one.


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