1. News & Issues
Send to a Friend via Email

What are the Gun Laws in Illinois?

By


Caution: Firearm laws frequently change and the following answers may not reflect changes in the laws.

Child Access Prevention Law? Yes
Juvenile Possession Law? Yes
Juvenile Sale/Transfer Law? Yes

State Requirements

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? FOID Required.*

  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No**

  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? FOID Required.*

  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? FOID Required.*

Handguns
  • Permit to purchase handgun? FOID Required.*

  • Registration of handguns? No.**

  • Licensing of owners of handguns? FOID Required.*

  • Permit to carry handguns? No***
* Subject to municipal control. Handguns have been banned in some municipalities.

** Chicago requires registration of all firearms.

*** Carrying a concealed weapon is prohibited entirely. A FOID is required to transport a handgun. See "Carrying."

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.

A federally licensed dealer must contact the Department of State Police for a background check, for which there is a $2.00 fee. Any sales at gun shows, including dealers and private parties, must contact the state police for a background check.

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.

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 IdentiAn applicant is entitled to a FOID if he:
  • Is over 21 years of age. If under 21, he must have the written consent of his parent or guardian. In such case, the guardian himself must not be ineligible for a FOID, and the applicant must never have been convicted of a misdemeanor or adjudged a delinquent.

  • Has never been convicted of a felony.

  • Is not a narcotics addict.

  • Has not been a patient in a mental hospital in the preceding five years.

  • Is not mentally retarded.

  • Is not an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.

  • Is not subject to an existing order of protection prohibiting the possession of a firearm.
  • 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.

  • Has not been convicted of domestic battery or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction committed on or after January 1, 1998.

  • Has not been convicted within the past five years of domestic battery or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction committed before January 1, 1998.

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 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.

Possession

  • It is unlawful to possess any firearm or ammunition without a valid FOID.

  • It is unlawful for any person under the age of 18 to possess a handgun, or concealable firearm.

  • It is unlawful for any person to possess any firearm with intent to use it unlawfully against another.
  • It is unlawful to possess any rifle having one or more barrels less than 16" in length or a shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18" 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 to possess any firearm in any place licensed to sell intoxicating beverages, 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 establishments.
  • 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. Narcotic addicts.

      3. Within the past five years has been a patient in a mental hospital.

      4. Mentally retarded.

      5. Convicted felon.

  • 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 at schools. Exempt include students in firearm training courses, parades, hunting, target shooting on school ranges.

Note: In Chicago it is unlawful to keep any firearm unless it has been registered with the Chicago Police.

Carrying (Residents Only)

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 or fixed place of business.

It is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm on any public street or other public lands within the corporate limits of a city, village, or incorporated town, except when: an invitee thereon or therein, for the purpose of the display of firearms or the lawful commerce in firearms.

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, 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.

Miscellaneous

It is unlawful for any person to store or leave a firearm if the person knows or has reason to believe that a minor under the age of 14 years who does not have a FOID is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the parent, guardian, or person having charge of the minor, and the minor causes death or great bodily harm with the firearm, unless the firearm is:

    1. Secured by a device or mechanism, other than the firearm safety, designed to render a firearm temporarily inoperable, or

    2. Placed in a securely locked box or container, or

    3. Placed in some other location that a reasonable person would believe to be secure from a minor.

See Also:
NRA Institute for Legislative Action
Illinois State Police -FOID Information
  1. About.com
  2. News & Issues
  3. Crime / Punishment
  4. Crime 101
  5. Issues / Controversies
  6. Weapons and Gun Control
  7. Gun Laws by State
  8. What are the Gun Laws in Illinois?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.