According to Section 22, Article I of the Illinois Bill of Rights, individual citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. However, this right is subject to the police power. A firearms Owner’s Identification Card (“FOID”) is required to purchase any firearm. FOID is issued by the Department of State Police (“Department”) in the buyer’s name. Issuance of FOID is done under the provisions of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act (“Act”).
According to Section 430 ILCS 65/3a of the Act, an Illinois resident with a FOID can purchase or obtain a rifle or shotgun or ammunition for a rifle or shotgun in Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin or Kentucky. Likewise, under Section 430 ILCS 65/3b a resident of Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin or Kentucky or a non-resident with a valid non-resident hunting license, who is 18 years or above in age can purchase or obtain a rifle, shotgun or ammunition for a rifle or shotgun in Illinois.
Requirements to apply for FOID are stated under Section 430 ILCS 65/4. A person applying for FOID should:
• be over 21 years of age. If under 21, s/he must have the written consent of his/her parent or guardian. In such case, the guardian himself must not be ineligible for a FOID, and the applicant must never have been convicted of a misdemeanor or adjudged a delinquent.
• never have been convicted of a felony.
• not be a narcotics addict.
• not have been a patient in a mental hospital in the preceding five years.
• not be mentally retarded.
• not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.
• not be subject to an existing order of protection prohibiting the
possession of a firearm.
• 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.
• not have been convicted of domestic battery or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction committed on or after January 1, 1998.
• not have been convicted within the past 5 years of domestic battery or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction committed before January 1, 1998.
Each applicant for a FOID should furnish to the Department either his or her driver’s license number or Illinois identification card number. Approval or denial of the application will be done by the Department within 30 days. There is a fee for FOID. Validity of FOID is five years from the date of issuance. If the FOID application is denied, the applicant can appeal the decision to the Director of the Department. A further appeal is possible to the court.
The main government offices that deal with issues relating to firearms are:
Illinois State Police
P.O. Box 19461
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9461
500 South Second St.
Springfield, Illinois 62706
Phone: (217) 782-1090