Illinois

Updated as of Friday, March 14, 2014.

NOTICE: H.B. 183 recently became law, making Illinois the last state to implement Right to Carry, please see our legislative update. This page will be continually updated as more detailed information becomes available and the new law is implemented. Serious concerns remain about the implementation, cost and issuance of concealed carry licenses in Illinois.  NRA-ILA will continue to update you on developments related to concealed carry in Illinois and fight to ensure that licenses are issued in a timely manner to those law-abiding Illinoisans interested in their inherent right to self-defense.

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION

“Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Section 22, Article I of the Illinois Bill of Rights

Important/Relevant Gun Laws

RIFLES AND SHOTGUNSHANDGUNS
Permit to PurchaseFOID RequiredFOID Required
Registration of FirearmsNoNo
Licensing of OwnersFOID RequiredFOID Required
Permit to CarryNoFOID Required

The list and map below are included as a tool to assist you in validating your information.  We have made every effort to report the information correctly, however reciprocity and recognition agreements are subject to frequent change.  The information is not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law and does not include:  restrictions that may be placed on non-resident permits, individuals under the age of 21, qualifying permit classes, and/or any other factor which may limit reciprocity and/or recognition.  For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation.  YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

Reciprocity

  • These states recognize Illinois permits:
  • Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin
  • Illinois recognizes permits from:
  • None

Map of states recognizing Illinois permits:

A synopsis of Illinois state laws on purchase, possession and carrying of firearms.

PURCHASE

A buyer is required to show his Firearms Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) when purchasing any firearms or ammunition. Any seller is required to withhold delivery of any handgun for 72 hours, and of any rifle or shotgun for 24 hours, after the buyer and seller reach an agreement to purchase a firearm. The waiting period does not apply to a buyer who is a dealer, law enforcement officer, or a nonresident at a gun show recognized by the Illinois Department of State Police. The seller must retain for 10 years a record of the transfer, including a description of the firearm (including serial number), the identity of the buyer, and the buyer’s FOID number. READ ALL

Private parties selling firearms at gun shows must ensure the buyer has a FOID card and the buyer must undergo a background check. It is unlawful to sell or give any handgun to a person under 18, or any firearm to a person who is not eligible to obtain a FOID.

430 ILCS 65/2

430 ILCS 65/3

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REQUIREMENTS FOR FOID

Application for a FOID is made to the Illinois State Police, FOID, P. O. Box 19233, Springfield, IL 62794-9233. Application forms can be obtained online at http://www.isp.state.il.us or by calling the Firearm Owners Identification Program at (217) 782-7980. An applicant is entitled to a FOID if he: READ ALL

(i) He or she is 21 years of age or over, or if he or she is under 21 years of age that he or she has the written consent of his or her parent or legal guardian to possess and acquire firearms and firearm ammunition and that he or she has never been convicted of a misdemeanor other than a traffic offense or adjudged delinquent, provided, however, that such parent or legal guardian is not an individual prohibited from having a Firearm Owner's Identification Card and files an affidavit with the Department as prescribed by the Department stating that he or she is not an individual prohibited from having a Card;
(ii) He or she has not been convicted of a felony under the laws of this or any other jurisdiction;
(iii) He or she is not addicted to narcotics;
(iv) He or she has not been a patient in a mental health facility within the past 5 years or, if he or she has been a patient in a mental health facility more than 5 years ago submit the certification required under subsection (u) of Section 8 of this Act;
(v) He or she is not intellectually disabled;
(vi) He or she is not an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States under the laws of the United States;
(vii) He or she is not subject to an existing order of protection prohibiting him or her from possessing a firearm;
(viii) He or she has not been convicted within the past 5 years of battery, assault, aggravated assault, violation of an order of protection, or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction, in which a firearm was used or possessed;
(ix) He or she has not been convicted of domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction committed before, on or after January 1, 2012 (the effective date of Public Act 97-158). If the applicant knowingly and intelligently waives the right to have an offense described in this clause (ix) tried by a jury, and by guilty plea or otherwise, results in a conviction for an offense in which a domestic relationship is not a required element of the offense but in which a determination of the applicability of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9) is made under Section 112A-11.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, an entry by the court of a judgment of conviction for that offense shall be grounds for denying the issuance of a Firearm Owner's Identification Card under this Section;
(x) (Blank);
(xi) He or she is not an alien who has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa (as that term is defined in Section 101(a) (26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26))), or that he or she is an alien who has been lawfully admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa if that alien is:
(1) admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes;
(2) an official representative of a foreign government who is:
(A) accredited to the United States Government or the Government's mission to an international organization having its headquarters in the United States; or
(B) en route to or from another country to which that alien is accredited;
(3) an official of a foreign government or distinguished foreign visitor who has been so designated by the Department of State;
(4) a foreign law enforcement officer of a friendly foreign government entering the United States on official business; or
(5) one who has received a waiver from the Attorney General of the United States pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(3);
(xii) He or she is not a minor subject to a petition filed under Section 5-520 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 alleging that the minor is a delinquent minor for the commission of an offense that if committed by an adult would be a felony;
(xiii) He or she is not an adult who had been adjudicated a delinquent minor under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 for the commission of an offense that if committed by an adult would be a felony;
(xiv) He or she is a resident of the State of Illinois;
(xv) He or she has not been adjudicated as a mentally disabled person;
(xvi) He or she has not been involuntarily admitted into a mental health facility; and
(xvii) He or she is not developmentally disabled; and
(3) Upon request by the Department of State Police, sign a release on a form prescribed by the Department of State Police waiving any right to confidentiality and requesting the disclosure to the Department of State Police of limited mental health institution admission information from another state, the District of Columbia, any other territory of the United States, or a foreign nation concerning the applicant for the sole purpose of determining whether the applicant is or was a patient in a mental health institution and disqualified because of that status from receiving a Firearm Owner's Identification Card. No mental health care or treatment records may be requested. The information received shall be destroyed within one year of receipt.

An applicant for a FOID must consent to the Department using the applicant’s digital driver’s license or Illinois ID card photograph, if available, and signature on the FOID, and must furnish the Department with his driver’s license or Illinois ID card number. The Department must approve or deny the FOID within 30 days, and is authorized to deny the FOID only if the applicant does not meet the listed qualifications. The FOID fee is $10 and it is valid for five years from the date of issuance. The Department shall forward to each FOID holder, a notice of expiration and a renewal notice application, 60 days prior to expiration.

A FOID may be revoked and seized if the holder made a false statement on the application, is no longer eligible, or whose mental condition poses a clear and present danger to self, others, or community. A written notice must be given with the grounds for denial or revocation and seizure.

A person whose FOID has been revoked or seized or whose FOID application was denied or not acted upon within 30 days may appeal the decision to the Director of the Department of State Police, unless it was based upon certain violent, drug, or weapons offenses. In that case, the aggrieved person may petition the circuit court in the county of his residence. If the Director upholds the Department’s decision, the applicant may appeal to the courts. Any judicial review generally will be limited to the question of whether the Department’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious.”

430 ILCS 65/4

430 ILCS 65/6

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POSSESSION

It is unlawful to possess any firearm or ammunition without a valid FOID. It is unlawful to possess any rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length or a shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length or any weapon made from a rifle or shotgun, if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches. It is unlawful for any person under the age of 18 to possess a handgun, or concealable firearm. READ ALL

It is unlawful for the following persons to possess a firearm or ammunition: 1)under 21 who has been adjudged delinquent or been convicted of a misdemeanor other than a traffic offense; 2)is a narcotic addict; 3)within the past 5 years has been a patient in a mental hospital; 4)is mentally retarded; 5)or a convicted felon.

It is unlawful for any person to possess any firearm with intent to use it unlawfully against another. It is unlawful to possess any firearm in any place licensed to sell intoxicating beverages, or “at any public gathering held pursuant to a license issued by any governmental body,” or at any public gathering (except a gun show) at which an admission is charged. An exception is provided for the owner, manager or an authorized employee of the specified establishments.

An unemancipated minor is not required to have a FOID in order to possess a firearm or ammunition while under the immediate control of a parent, guardian or other person in loco parentis who has a valid FOID. A person with a FOID card can loan a gun to a non-FOID card owner as long as the gun was used at a range and under the supervision of the owner.

It is unlawful to possess firearms or ammunition on the grounds or building of a school. Exempt are students in firearm training courses, parades, hunting, target shooting on school ranges, or otherwise with the consent of school authorities and which firearms are transported unloaded and enclosed in a suitable case, box, or transportation package.

720 ILCS 5/24-1

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CARRYING

It is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm in any vehicle or concealed on or about the person, except on one’s land or in one’s abode or fixed place of business, without a license.  READ ALL

Exceptions are persons using their firearms on established target ranges; licensed hunters, trappers, or fishermen while engaged in their licensed activity; transportation of firearms that are broken down in a non-functioning state or are not immediately accessible (e.g., in the trunk of a car); and transportation, carrying, or possession of a firearm which is unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container, by the possessor of a valid FOID. Under the Wildlife Code, it is unlawful to have or carry any firearm in or on any vehicle or conveyance unless unloaded and enclosed in a case.

Concealed Carry License*:

  • Five-year concealed carry permits will be issued to Illinois residents at least 21 years of age with a valid FOID card 90 days after a qualified application is submitted. 
  • Illinois will not recognize carry licenses or permits from other states at this time; however, non-resident Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses will be available with an increased fee of $300 if the interested applicant’s state’s concealed carry license laws are “substantially similar” to Illinois’.  Illinois State Police must first establish which elements of other state’s permits meet the “substantially similar” requirement.

To qualify for a license to conceal carry, an Illinois resident must:

  • Pay a $150 fee;
  • Be subjected to fingerprinting for an additional fee in order to avoid delayed processing of one’s application;
  • Undergo 16 hours of training (which includes a “live fire” component).  Eight hours of prior training may be credited   if it is “approved by the Department [of State Police] and recognized under the laws of another state or if the applicant is an active, retired, or honorably discharged member of the Armed Forces.”
  • A list of approved instructors is available on the Illinois State Police website: www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw/
  • A list of approved curricula by the Ilinois State Police: www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw/CCWApprovedCurriculum.pdf

An applicant will be disqualified if:

  • Convicted or found guilty in Illinois or any other state of:
    • 2 or more violations related to driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof, within the last 5 years.
    • A misdemeanor involving the use or threat of physical force or violence to any person within the last 5 years.
  • Applicant is the subject of a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to disqualification.
  • Applicant has been in a residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, alcohol detoxification, or drug treatment within the last 5 years.
  • Any law enforcement agency may object to the issuance of a license to an otherwise qualified applicant on the basis of reasonable suspicion that the applicant presents a danger to self or others or is a threat to public safety.    Such an objection sends the application for review by the Concealed Carry Licensing Board, which consists of a total of 7 judicial, law enforcement, and mental health professionals appointed by the Governor.  The Board generally will issue a decision in 30 days as to whether it has determined, by a preponderance of the evidence, if the applicant is eligible or ineligible for a license.  

Preemption:

  • Illinois has comprehensive preemption of handgun and handgun ammunition-related local ordinances for anyone with a valid FOID card, and preemption of “assault weapon” bans enacted after July 19th.  Regulation of laws relating to the concealed carrying of handguns is now reserved to the state. Please check with your local jurisdiction for any other prohibitions or regulations on firearms that were in place prior to July 19th that may affect you.
  • Illinois law now contains increased protection for those who are traveling with firearms, since the preemption of local firearms ordinances applies to all individuals with a valid FOID card who are transporting firearms in compliance with all state regulations. A personal vehicle is also a safe haven for transport of firearms by non-Illinois residents not otherwise prohibited from possession.

Storage:

  • In addition to the safe harbor found in one's vehicle, licensees who wish to store their firearm in the trunk of their vehicle while visiting an otherwise prohibited location may exit their vehicle while in the parking lot in possession of the firearm for the purposes of storing it in the trunk. They may also store the firearm in the passenger compartment of their vehicle in some sort of container as long as either the vehicle or container is locked and the firearm remains out of plain view.

Prohibited Places:

Under the new law there is an extensive list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, even with a concealed handgun license.  Three or more violations will result in a permanent revocation of license. The list of prohibited places includes, but is not limited to:

  • Schools and child care facilities
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Courthouses
  • Libraries
  • Government buildings
  • Public playgrounds
  • Public parks (trails excluded)
  • Bars (and any restaurant deriving more than half of its profits from alcohol)
  • Public transportation
  • Permitted public gatherings, such as festivals or parades
  • Museums
  • Stadiums
  • Zoos

*Serious concerns remain about the implementation, cost and issuance of concealed carry licenses in Illinois.  NRA-ILA will continue to update you on developments related to concealed carry in Illinois and fight to ensure that licenses are issued in a timely manner to those law-abiding Illinoisans interested in their inherent right to self-defense.

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NON-RESIDENTS

A non-resident is permitted to possess a firearm without a FOID if it is unloaded and enclosed in a case, or if the nonresident is:
• Hunting and has a non-resident hunting license, while in an area where hunting is permitted.
• On a target range recognized by the Department of State Police.
• At a gun show recognized by the Department of State Police.
• Currently licensed or registered to possess a firearm in his state of residence. 

430 ILCS 65/2

ANTIQUES AND REPLICAS

An antique firearm which “the Department of State Police finds by reason of the date of manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics is primarily a collectors item and is not likely to be used as a weapon” is exempt from the above regulations on purchase.

430 ILCS 65/1.1

MACHINE GUNS

It is unlawful to sell, manufacture, purchase, possess or carry any weapon from which more than one shot may be discharged by a single function of the trigger, including the frame or receiver of any such weapon. It is unlawful to sell, manufacture, purchase, possess or carry any combination of parts designed or intended for use in converting any weapon into a machine gun, or any combination or parts from which a machine gun can be assembled. READ ALL

There is an exception to the above prohibition, providing for the manufacture, transportation, and sale of machine guns to law enforcement and military personnel for official purposes, provided such weapons are “broken down in a non-functioning state or not immediately accessible.”

This prohibition does not apply to persons licensed to manufacture machine guns or ammunition under federal law and who are actually engaged in the business of manufacturing such weapons or ammunition, but only with respect to activities which are in the lawful scope of such business, such as the manufacture, transportation or testing of such weapons or ammunition.

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RANGE PROTECTION

The owner of a shooting range is immune from civil or criminal claims alleging noise, nuisance, trespass or any claim on the basis of sound emissions. READ ALL

130/ 5. Firearm ranges; liability

§ 5. Firearm ranges; liability.

(a) As used in this Section, “firearm range” means a rifle, pistol, silhouette, skeet, trap, black powder, or other similar range in this State used for discharging firearms in a sporting event, for practice or instruction in the use of a firearm, or for the testing of a firearm. “Firearm range” also includes licensed shooting preserves and public hunting areas operated or licensed by the Department of Natural Resources.

(b) An owner or operator of a firearm range in existence on January 1, 1994, is immune from any criminal liability arising out of or as a consequence of noise or sound emissions resulting from the normal use of the firearm range. An owner or operator of a firearm range is not subject to any action for public or private nuisance or trespass and no court in this State shall enjoin the use or operation of a firearm range on the basis of noise or sound emissions resulting from the normal use of the firearm range.

(c) An owner or operator of a firearm range placed in operation after January 1, 1994, is immune from any criminal liability and is not subject to any action for public or private nuisance or trespass arising out of or as a consequence of noise or sound emissions resulting from the normal use of the firearm range, if the firearm range conforms to any one of the following requirements:

(1) All areas from which a firearm may be properly discharged are at least 1,000 yards from any occupied permanent dwelling on adjacent property.

(2) All areas from which a firearm may be properly discharged are enclosed by a permanent building or structure that absorbs or contains sound energy escaping from the muzzle of firearms in use.

(3) If the firearm range is situated on land otherwise subject to land use zoning, the firearm range is in compliance with the requirements of the zoning authority.

(4) The firearm range is operated by a governmental entity or is licensed by the Department of Natural Resources.

(5) The firearm range met the requirements of clause (1) of this subsection (c) at the time the range began its operation and subsequently an occupied permanent dwelling on adjacent property was built within 1,000 yards from an area of the range from which a firearm may be properly discharged.

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MISCELLANEOUS
  • It is unlawful for a dealer to sell any handgun “having a barrel, slide, frame or receiver which is a die casting of zinc alloy or any other non- homogeneous metal which will melt or deform at a temperature of less than 800 degrees F.”
  • It is unlawful to alter or obliterate any serial number, maker’s name or other identifying mark on any firearm. Possession of a firearm with an altered or obliterated mark raises a legal presumption that the possessor committed the offense.
  • Any stolen weapon, if confiscated by police when no longer needed for evidentiary purposes, must be returned to the person entitled to possession, if known.
  • It is unlawful to possess, manufacture or use any metal piercing, dragon’s breath shotgun shell, bolo shell, flechette shell, or explosive bullet.
  • It is unlawful to possess a silencer.
  • It is unlawful to possess or store any firearm on land supported in whole or in part with state or federal funds administered through state agencies or in any building on such land without prior written permission from the chief security officer for such land or building. The chief security officer “must grant any reasonable request for permission.”

SOURCES:: 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 65/1.1 et seq., 520 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/2.33(n); 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/24-1 et seq., and 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/21-6.

CAUTION: Firearm laws are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. This summary is not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. This summary does not include federal or local laws, ordinances or regulations. For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation. YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

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