Carrying of Firearms-Illinois


Under Illinois law, “firearm” means any device, which is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas or escape of gas.  However, the definition excludes pneumatic gun, spiring gun, paint ball gun or B-B gun with certain specifications and any device used exclusively for the firing of stud cartridges, explosive rivets or similar industrial ammunition.  An antique firearm other than a machine-gun is also excluded from the definition of firearm.[i] A firearm can be possessed only by persons having a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card previously issued in the person’s name by the Department of State Police.[ii] However, this provision does not apply to law enforcement officials of Illinois or any other jurisdiction, while engaged in the operation of their official duties.  According to 720 ILCS 545/2,[iii] the Offenses Against the Public Boarding Aircraft with Weapon Act does not apply to any person authorized by either the Federal or State government to carry firearms but such person so exempted shall notify the commander of any aircraft he is about to board that he does possess a firearm and show identification satisfactory to the aircraft commander that he is authorized to carry such firearm.

Each applicant for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card must submit proof to the Department of State Police that the applicant is 21 years of age or above and that s/he has never been convicted of a misdemeanour other than a traffic offense.  The applicant must not have been adjudged delinquent, provided, however, that such parent or legal guardian is not an individual prohibited from having a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and files an affidavit to that effect.  The applicant should not be a convicted felon or narcotic addict or mentally incompetent, nor should be subject to an existing order of protection prohibiting him/her from possessing a firearm.  The person should not have been convicted within the past 5 years of battery, assault, aggravated assault, violation of an order of protection, or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction, in which a firearm was used or possessed.  The applicant should not be an alien, minor or delinquent minor.

Each applicant over the age of 18 shall furnish to the Department of State Police either his/her driver’s license number or Illinois Identification Card number.  An applicant who is employed as an armed security officer at a nuclear energy, storage, weapons, or development facility regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and who is not an Illinois resident, shall furnish his/her  driver’s license number or state identification card number from the person’s state of residence. Entering false information on an application for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card is punishable as a Class 2 felony.[iv] A Firearm Owner’s Identification Card shall contain the applicant’s name, residence, date of birth, sex, physical description, recent photograph and signature.[v]

The Department of State Police shall deny an application or shall revoke and seize a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card previously issued, if the Department finds that the applicant or person to whom such card was issued is or was at the time of issuance subject to an existing order of protection.[vi]

Illinois does not issue concealed weapon permits and individuals are also prohibited from openly carrying weapons in all public areas.  Illinois also does not have reciprocity and recognition agreement with any other state.

[i] 430 ILCS 65/1.1

[ii] 430 ILCS 65/2

[iii] Repealed effective January 1, 2010

[iv] 430 ILCS 65/14

[v] 430 ILCS 65/6

[vi] 430 ILCS 65/8.2 (Effective January 1, 2010)