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


Illinois is a shall-issue state. However, Illinois still gives law enforcement the right to object to a CCL. There is an appeal process. Open carry of a handgun is illegal. An Illinois CCL is required to concealed carry, applicants must be 21. Illinois does not honor CCW licenses from any other state. Illinois law requires residents to have a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) to possess a firearm or ammunition. Illinois is a Castle Doctrine state. You are under no legal duty to retreat if threatened, and using deadly force is justified. In no case shall the justified use of force give rise to any claim or liability.

Reciprocal Carry

Illinois does not have an explicit reciprocity statute and restricts the possession of a firearm by law. However, it will recognize a nonresident’s right to carry a firearm in some circumstances. Currently, Illinois only issues Illinois Non-Resident permits to residents of Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia. Non-residents must complete 16 hours of Concealed Carry firearms training provided by an ISP approved instructor.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

Illinois does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry but if an Officer asks about a weapon, by law, an answer must be supplied. You are required to possess a license at all times You carry a concealed weapon and must present your license to a LEO upon their request. LEOs or emergency services personnel may secure Your firearm during the duration of the contact if they determine that it is necessary for their safety.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

Illinois generally prohibits carrying firearms in vehicles without a carry permit. People who possess a FOID card but not a carry permit may transport firearms in their vehicle only if the firearm is unloaded and secured in a locked container, or otherwise not immediately accessible.

NFA Items

The only NFA items legal in Illinois are AOWs and SBR. You must possess a Curio & Relic license in order to purchase/manufacture/own a SBR or be a member of a bona fide military reenactment group. The rifle itself does not have to qualify as a Curio & Relic. AOWs and large-bore DDs allowed with proper approval and tax stamp from ATF(E).

Self-Defense Laws

Illinois has a Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in Your dwelling, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, or the commission of a forcible felony. Deadly force may also be used if to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into Your dwelling or residence if the entry is violent and You reasonably believe the intruder intends to commit violence against an occupant of the dwelling, or if the intruder intends to commit a felony within the dwelling. Anyone who is justified in using force in self-defense has civil immunity from lawsuits relating to said use of force by the intruder, their family, or their estate.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

You may carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, unless posted. You are prohibited from carrying a firearm into restaurants or bars that receive more than 50% of their revenue from the sale of alcohol. Restaurants and Bars in Illinois are required to post this information in a conspicuous location at their establishment.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to you that guns are not allowed, You are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass.

Open Carry

Open carry is not legal in Illinois. You must have an Illinois permit to carry a firearm. A handgun carried on or about a person with an Illinois permit to carry must be concealed from view of the public or on or about a person within a vehicle.

Private Sales Background Checks

The seller must verify the buyer’s FOID with the Illinois State Police and must keep a record of the sale for at least ten years.

Chicago And Laser Sights

In Chicago it is illegal to possess, display for sale, sell, or otherwise transfer any laser sight accessory, or a firearm silencer or muffler. LEOs and members of the armed forces are exempt from this law. Any such items will be seized and forfeited to the city.

Any owner of record of any motor vehicle that contains an assault weapon, a laser sight accessory, or firearm silencer or muffler is subject to a $2,000 fine, or a $3,000 fine if the violation occurs within 500 feet of a public park or elementary or secondary school. Any such vehicle is subject to seizure and impoundment at the owner’s expense.

DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.

However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

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