Illinois Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training

In Illinois, firearms regulations are strict and specific. The state permits concealed carry, but open carry is only allowed in certain situations, typically related to hunting in specific local areas and subject to county firearm regulations. To navigate these laws responsibly, it is crucial to be well-informed about Illinois gun regulations. In this article, we will cover all the essential details, including concealed carry permits, open carry restrictions, and where it is legal or illegal to possess firearms.

Illinois Gun Law Summary

Illinois is a “shall-issue” state, which means the state police department is responsible for processing concealed carry permit applications. Anyone who meets the requirements can obtain a concealed carry license. While the police have discretion in accepting or rejecting applications, rejected applicants are entitled to a fair hearing conducted by a review board, which will make a final decision.

Is Open Carry Legal In Illinois?

No, open carry is illegal in Illinois. Individuals are not permitted to open carry either on their person or in a vehicle. Illinois is a non-permissive state for open carry, meaning that gun laws explicitly prohibit the open carry of firearms.

Illinois Open Gun Law Quick View

The following table provides an overview of Illinois gun laws related to open carry:

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carryNoNoOpen carry is illegal in Illinois with or without a permit.
Firearm registrations for open carryNoNoIllinois does not require firearms registration.
Assault weapon for open carryNoNoThe use of armor-pierced firearms is not allowed in Illinois.
Magazine limitNoNoThe state can issue a protection or restriction order prohibiting the possession of firearms.
License for the owner of a firearmNot requiredNot requiredThere is no license issued for owning a firearm.
Red flag lawYesYesThe state can issue a protection or restriction order prohibiting possession of firearms.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesIllinois is a castle doctrine state, and you have the right to stand your ground against an intruder in your home.
Background check for private dealersYesYesA background check is compulsory for all dealers in the state, and the process involves verifying the firearm identification number.
PreemptionYesYesIllinois gun laws supersede that of any local government law in the state.
Concealed carry permitNoYesYou must obtain a concealed carry license for carrying handguns in the state.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleNoYesYou can conceal carry in your vehicle with your license.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoYou cannot openly possess your firearm in schools, colleges, universities, and any other educational institution.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Illinois?

While open carry is generally illegal in Illinois, there are specific places where you can possess your firearm:

  1. Restaurants and bars: You can open carry in restaurant areas but not in the bar areas.
  2. Personal vehicle: You can carry your firearm in a private car if you have a concealed carry license.
  3. State parks, forests, and wildlife management areas: You can possess your firearm in these places.
  4. Worship places: You can possess your firearm in churches, mosques, and synagogues unless they have a post prohibiting this.
See also  Illinois Gun Laws

Where Is Illegal To Open Carry In Illinois?

Illinois gun laws prohibit the possession of firearms in the following places:

  1. Schools: You cannot possess a firearm in any educational institution, including elementary, college, or university, and on school transportation.
  2. Stadium: You cannot possess a firearm in any stadium or where a professional sports event is taking place, except for firearms competitions.
  3. Legislative buildings: You cannot possess firearms in any legislative building in the state.
  4. Hospitals: Illinois prohibits the possession of firearms in hospitals, mental health facilities, and nursing homes.
  5. Prisons: You cannot possess firearms in jails, correctional homes, or detention facilities.
  6. Public places: You cannot possess a firearm in public places such as libraries, zoos, museums, or on public transport.
  7. Restricted buildings: You cannot possess your firearm in any private building or property that has a sign prohibiting it.
  8. Courts: Courthouses are out of bounds for the possession of firearms.
  9. Prohibited places: You cannot carry a concealed firearm in areas prohibited by federal laws of the country.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Illinois

Understanding the laws related to open carry in Illinois is essential for responsible gun ownership. Some relevant laws include:

Magazine Limit For Firearms

Illinois law does not specify a limit for firearm magazines in the state. However, Cook County in Illinois has a ban on high-capacity magazines, defined as those that can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.

Firearm Restriction In Illinois

Illinois prohibits the use of armor-piercing bullets that possess the following properties:

  • Projectile core.
  • Bullets that are fully jacketed and bigger than the standard twenty-two caliber used for handguns.
  • Bullets with jackets that weigh more than a quarter of the whole projectile weight.
See also  Alaska Open Carry

This prohibition excludes handguns made from fragile materials like lead, zinc, copper, or their alloys primarily manufactured for professional sporting events. Additionally, Illinois prohibits the use of full metal jacket handguns for firearms training due to jacket weight and gun composition.

No Weapon Posts In The State

Illinois statutes allow the usage of posts and signage to prohibit the possession of firearms in the state. Buildings or locations that carry firearm prohibition signs must display them at the entrance, where they are clearly visible to all. These signs inform anyone entering the building that firearms are not allowed, regardless of whether they have a concealed carry license.

Violating a no-weapon sign law in Illinois is considered a misdemeanor, categorized as class B. Subsequent violations can lead to a class A misdemeanor and may result in a license suspension for at least six months.

Preemption Law

Illinois has preemption gun laws, granting the state government dominant authority over laws concerning the usage of firearms. However, local governments can regulate gun laws in their territory related to the issuance of firearm identification cards and carry licenses, the use of firearms other than handguns, and situations involving the buying, selling, and possession of firearms.

Red Flag Law

Section sixty-six of firearm laws in Illinois allows a family member or law enforcement officer to submit a petition to a court of law, seeking to restrict a person’s possession or use of firearms in the state.

Brandishing Of Firearms

Intimidating anyone using a firearm in Illinois is prohibited. Intimidation includes intentionally using a firearm to influence a person’s communication, either directly or indirectly, while threatening to inflict harm on the person. Violators of this law face prosecution in the state.

See also  Missouri Gun Permit

Using Firearms Under The Influence

It is prohibited to handle firearms under the influence of alcohol or any drug or intoxicating substance in Illinois. This law is also applicable as per the state’s vehicle code standards.

Possession Of Firearms While Hunting

You are not allowed to possess a firearm during hunting activities in Illinois, including the possession of concealed firearms. The only exception to this law is if the firearm you are using is lawful for the type of game you are hunting. Illinois also has hunter harassment laws in place to protect hunting activities.

These laws prohibit:

  1. Interfering with the taking of games in wildlife or aquatic life to prevent such activity.
  2. Disturbing wildlife interferes with hunting.
  3. Harassing a hunter who is in the process of taking a game.
  4. Using any type of stimuli to prevent or disturb wildlife or aquatic life.
  5. Erecting barriers to limit movement in wildlife areas where hunting occurs.
  6. Interjecting fishing lines used for taking aquatic life.
  7. Physically impacting the condition of a property used for the taking of wildlife.
  8. Trespassing on private land without permission from the landowner, with the aim to disrupt hunting.
  9. Refusing an order to maintain order from a peace officer.
  10. Using a drone in a way that disturbs wildlife or aquatic life.


Understanding Illinois gun laws, particularly those related to concealed carry and open carry, is essential for responsible gun ownership and compliance with state regulations. Open carry is generally prohibited in Illinois, with specific exceptions related to hunting in certain local areas.

Familiarizing yourself with the relevant laws, restrictions, and allowed locations for carrying firearms will ensure you stay on the right side of the law and promote safety within the community.


Q1. Can I open carry in Illinois without a permit?

No, open carry is illegal in Illinois, and a permit is not issued for open carry.

Q2. Are high-capacity magazines allowed in Illinois?

Illinois law does not specify a limit on firearm magazines, but Cook County has banned high-capacity magazines.

Q3. Can I carry my firearm in state parks in Illinois?

Yes, you can possess your firearm in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas in Illinois.

Q4. Are there restrictions on possessing firearms in hospitals?

Yes, Illinois prohibits the possession of firearms in hospitals, mental health facilities, and nursing homes.

Q5. What is Illinois’s stand on castle doctrine?

Illinois is a castle doctrine state, which means you have the right to stand your ground against an intruder in your home.

Q6. Can I carry a handgun in Illinois without a permit?

No, Illinois requires a firearm owner’s Identification (FOID) card just to possess handguns and a Concealed Carry License (CCL) to carry concealed.

Q7. What is the penalty for carrying a gun without a permit in Illinois?

Carrying a handgun without a valid FOID or CCL in Illinois can be charged as a class A misdemeanor or felony offense.

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