Illinois Gun Laws Scaled

Illinois Gun Laws

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of concealed carry reciprocity in Illinois. With a population of 12.7 million and a complex web of gun laws, Illinois presents a unique landscape for concealed carry enthusiasts. We’ll explore the essentials of Illinois gun laws, where you can carry, where you can’t, and how reciprocity agreements affect carrying across state lines.

Illinois Gun Laws Quick Facts

Understanding the Basics

Illinois stands out due to its requirement for residents to hold a valid firearm owner’s Identification (FOID) card to carry firearms or ammunition. A mandatory 72-hour waiting period is also in place for carrying handguns. Concealed carry permits are issued by the state police to individuals aged 21 and above, following the completion of a comprehensive 16-hour training course. Interestingly, non-residents can obtain permits if they hail from states like Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, or Virginia. These non-residents can also skip the FOID card requirement if they possess a valid CCW permit from their home state.

Illinois Gun Laws Mental Health

Illinois bars the legal possession of firearms for anyone involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility or anyone with intellectual disabilities. Those deemed a “clear and present danger” to themselves or others by a mental health professional also cannot obtain firearm permits. Records are checked during background checks.

Quick Overview of Illinois Gun Laws

Constitutional Carry

No – Illinois does not grant constitutional carry privileges.

Open Carry

No – Open carrying of firearms, with or without a permit, is prohibited in Illinois.

Carrying in Vehicles

Yes – Individuals with an Illinois Concealed Carry License (CCL) can transport a firearm (loaded or unloaded) in their vehicles. Non-residents with recognized CCWs from states in reciprocity with Illinois can also transport firearms. Furthermore, non-residents from states without carry licenses are allowed to transport firearms if they are legally allowed to possess them in their home states.

See also  Illinois Hunting

State Park Carry

Yes – Concealed carry is permitted in state and national parks for holders of an Illinois CCL. However, certain areas within these parks remain off-limits for concealed carry.

Carrying in Restaurants

Yes/No – While carrying in restaurants without alcohol sales is allowed, establishments with over 50% of revenue from alcohol sales are off-limits for concealed carry.

Enforcing No Weapon Signs

Yes – Signs prohibiting weapons hold legal weight. Violating this signage can result in misdemeanor charges and license revocation.

Duty to Inform

No – Although no specific language mandates disclosure, providing truthful information to law enforcement officers along with permits and identification is a requirement if requested.

Illinois CCW Reciprocity List

States Honoring CCW Permits

Illinois recognizes concealed carry permits from the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska*
  • Arizona*
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana*
  • Iowa*
  • Kansas*
  • Kentucky*
  • Maine*
  • Michigan*
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri*
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma*
  • South Carolina*
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee*
  • Texas*
  • Utah*
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia*
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming*

*Restricted reciprocity with Illinois

States Not Honoring CCW Permits

Illinois does not honor concealed carry permits from the following states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.

Honors These States CCW Permits

Illinois does not extend reciprocity to concealed carry permits from any other state.

How Reciprocity Works in Illinois

Illinois does not honor concealed carry permits from other states. However, non-resident concealed carry licenses are issued to residents of certain states, including Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia. These states boast firearms laws deemed substantially similar to those of Illinois. The reciprocity list evolves as more states are identified with comparable CCW laws.

See also  Illinois Open Carry

Reciprocity Agreements in Illinois

Places Allowed

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Vehicles
  • All areas not listed as Off-Limits

Places Not Allowed

  • Public or private schools
  • Preschools or childcare facilities
  • Buildings controlled by government officials
  • Courtrooms
  • Buildings under local government control
  • Detention or correctional institutions
  • Hospitals and mental health facilities
  • Public transportation
  • Establishments with a majority of alcohol sales
  • Various public places and events
  • Nuclear energy sites
  • Areas prohibited by federal law

Illinois: Concealed Carry Laws

Open Carry

No, open carrying is illegal in Illinois, even for concealed carry permit holders. Handguns must be concealed from public view.

Carry in Vehicles

Concealed carry is permitted within vehicles for those with a valid concealed carry license. Non-residents with a valid CCW permit in their home state can transport loaded concealed handguns in their vehicles, with restrictions on removing the firearm from the vehicle.

Illinois Gun Laws

Carry in State Parks

Carrying in state parks, national forests (excluding buildings), and wildlife management areas is permitted, but state refuges and nature preserves are off-limits.

Carry in Restaurants

Carrying is allowed in restaurants that do not primarily serve alcohol. Bars generating over 50% of their revenue from alcohol sales are exceptions.

Constitutional Carry

Illinois does not recognize constitutional carry.

No Weapon Signs Enforced

β€œNo Weapons” signs are legally binding in Illinois, with penalties for violation.

Duty to Inform

While Illinois doesn’t mandate immediate disclosure to law enforcement officers, carrying permits must be presented upon request.


Navigating Illinois concealed carry reciprocity requires an understanding of intricate laws and agreements. Whether you’re an Illinois resident or a non-resident with a recognized CCW, knowing where you can legally carry is essential. Respect for local laws and adherence to regulations are paramount for responsible concealed carry.

See also  Illinois FOID Card Requirement


Q1: Can non-residents carry concealed handguns in Illinois?

Non-residents from certain states with recognized CCW permits can carry concealed handguns in Illinois.

Q2: Are there any exceptions to carrying in establishments that serve alcohol?

Restaurants with over 50% of revenue from alcohol sales prohibit concealed carry.

Q3: Does Illinois have constitutional carry?

No, Illinois does not recognize constitutional carry.

Q4: What disqualifies you from owning a gun in Illinois?

Reasons for disqualification from legal firearm ownership in Illinois include felony convictions, domestic violence offenses, significant mental health history, active protective orders or restraining orders, under 21 years old for handguns, dishonorable military discharge, living in the country illegally, or having revoked Firearm Owners ID cards.

Q5: What qualifies as a gun case in Illinois?

In Illinois, a gun case for transporting firearms must completely enclose the unloaded weapon to qualify as legal concealed transport. It can be soft-sided if secured with zippers, snaps, buckles, or other fasteners but cannot expose the gun. Hard-sided, lockable cases provide the most secure protection during transport to prevent unauthorized access.

Q6: Is notifying law enforcement required during encounters?

While not mandatory, disclosing concealed carry permits when requested by law enforcement is necessary.

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