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Borrowing a gun for self defense: Legal trouble in the making

Are you thinking about borrowing a gun "just in case" something happens?

The world can be a scary place. Sometimes, it just feels better knowing that you have a gun around for protection. If you're going to be alone in a new apartment, going through trouble with a volatile ex, have to walk home late at night after work or have recently been threatened by someone, it's only natural to be concerned for your own safety.

However, borrowing a gun for self defense could open the door to a lot of trouble. You may have a weapon to defend yourself, but using it could land you in jail.

In Illinois, you have the legal right to defend yourself by any means necessary -- as long as you reasonably believe that force is the only way to prevent yourself or another from suffering serious bodily injury. Illinois also gives you the right to use force to stop someone from breaking into your home if you fear that they may hurt you or otherwise commit a felony.

However, even if your act of self defense is legal, using a borrowed gun for which you have no permit and without a Firearms Owner's Identification (FOID) card means that you could end up facing serious criminal charges. FOID cards are required before you can legally have any firearm or ammunition in your possession. In addition, you could be in violation of the state's Concealed Carry License (CCL) regulations (if you were carrying the gun in a purse or inside your coat, for example).

Don't take chances with your future. If you intend to carry a gun for your protection, be smart about it and take the necessary steps to carry the weapon legally. It's far better to take these precautions than have to worry about defending yourself against a weapons charge.

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