Illinois Gun Laws

If you decide to purchase a firearm, it is very important to be familiar with local laws. In Illinois there are several requirements that have to be met before you can take a firearm home, given below. It is also important to know that Illinois does have a waiting period for firearm purchases (72 hours for handguns, 24 hours for rifles) and does not allow concealed carry.

The main prerequisite for purchasing a firearm is a Firearm Owner's Identification Card (FOID). Almost all gun sales in Illinois require presentation of a valid FOID, the only exceptions being for police officers and nonresidents shopping at an officially-registered gun show.

A FOID can only be issued to someone at least 21 years of age who cannot:

  • Have been convicted of a felony;
  • Have been in a mental institution in the past 5 years;
  • Be mentally retarded;
  • Be an illegal alien;
  • Meet a number of requirements relating to violent crimes (e.g. not have been convicted of domestic battery);
  • Be a narcotics addict.

The laws governing firearm possession and regulating where firearms can and cannot be carried are complex, but a few points stand out. Possession of a firearm without a FOID is illegal. In addition, it is illegal to carry a firearm in a public place where admission is charged (except for gun shows), a place that serves alcohol, or a school. With certain exceptions, firearms cannot be carried on sidewalks or in public areas in cities.