Carrying a firearm for self-defense comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing the laws where you carry is just one important task you must undertake as an armed American. To help with that, we will be providing you with a summary of basic carry laws for several states. Learn about the most important things to know when carrying in the Land of Lincoln below.

Concealed Carry Permitting in Illinois

Open carry of a handgun on your person or in a vehicle is illegal. An Illinois Concealed Carry License (CCL) is required to concealed carry a firearm in Illinois. Applicants must be 21 or older. The license permits the licensee to carry a concealed loaded or unloaded handgun on his or her person or within a vehicle. A 16-hour firearms training course conducted by a state-approved instructor is required for all new concealed carry license applications.

Non-resident licenses are only available for residents of Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Virginia. Illinois does not honor CCW licenses from any other state. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase with a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID). These devices are not allowed under certain circumstances and in certain places, including places licensed to sell intoxicating beverages, schools, colleges, courthouses or in or within 1,000 feet of a public park. Possession and use of self-defense sprays is lawful for anyone over 18 years old.

Illinois law requires residents to have a FOID when purchasing or possessing a handgun and to possess ammunition. However, there is an exception for transfers that occur at the place of business of a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) provided the FFL conducts a background check on the prospective recipient of the firearm and follows all other applicable federal, state and local laws. A person who is under 21 years of age must have the written consent of his or her parent or legal guardian to possess and acquire firearms and firearm ammunition. Private sellers must verify a purchaser’s FOID card and also keep a record of any sale for a period of 10 years. There is also a 72-hour waiting period for the purchase of all guns. Armor-piercing ammunition is prohibited, although most full metal jacket (FMJ) handgun ammunition commonly used for training is exempt based on jacket weight or core composition.

Although Illinois has no law restricting large-capacity ammunition magazines, Cook County prohibits large-capacity magazines. These are defined as having the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Where Can One Carry Concealed in Illinois?

Anyone with a valid concealed carry permit can carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Illinois. Since Illinois has no reciprocity, non-residents may only carry firearms in the immediate area surrounding the vehicle for the limited purpose of storing or retrieving a firearm within the vehicle’s trunk.

Locations where a concealed handgun may be carried with a CCL include:

  • State/national parks and wildlife management areas
  • State/national forests
  • Places of worship, unless posted with signs prohibiting firearms

Locations where concealed carry is prohibited, even for permit holders, include:

  • Roadside rest areas
  • School and school-related activity transportation
  • Public playgrounds, parks and athletic facilities (except on trails or bikeways)
  • Courts
  • Local government buildings
  • Public transportation and transportation facilities
  • Public gatherings or special events open to the public
  • Locations that have been issued special liquor licenses or special use permits
  • Cook County Forest Preserve property
  • Private property that is clearly and conspicuously posted
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law
  • Any building, real property and parking area of the following:
    • Elementary school, secondary school, pre-school, child care facility, colleges and universities, and in a vehicle on any public way within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a school
    • Any stadium, arena, or the real property or parking area under the control of a stadium, arena, or any collegiate or professional sporting event
    • Office of the executive or legislative branch of state government (other than the Illinois DNR)
    • Hospital, mental health facility or nursing home
    • Adult or juvenile detention or correctional institution, prison or jail
    • Public transportation facility
    • Establishment where more than 50 percent of sales are from alcohol
    • Gaming facility
    • Public library
    • Airport, including both commercial and charter aircraft
    • Amusement park, zoo or museum
    • Nuclear energy, storage, weapons, or development site or facility regulated by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    • Private property that is clearly and conspicuously posted

Visit the USCCA Illinois gun laws page now…

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.