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Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2024 ‘Licensing in Illinois.’ Owner Responsibilities. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 28 May

Relevant contents

Licensing of Gun Owners and Purchasers in Illinois

Illinois law provides that no person may acquire or possess any firearm or ammunition without a valid Firearm Owner's Identification ("FOID") card. Illinois law also prohibits any person from knowingly selling firearms or ammunition to an individual who does not present a FOID card.

Each applicant for a FOID card is required to complete an application and "submit evidence" to the Illinois Department of State Police ("DSP") that she or he is not a prohibited purchaser. The DSP conducts an automated search of its criminal history record information files and those of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including the National Instant Criminal Background Check System ("NICS"), and of the files of the state Department of Human Services relating to mental health and developmental disabilities to obtain any felony conviction or patient hospitalization information which would disqualify a person from obtaining or require revocation of a currently valid FOID card.

The DSP has the authority to revoke a FOID card if the holder becomes a prohibited purchaser.

Illinois does not impose a limit on the number of firearms that may be purchased by the holder of a FOID card.

Disclosure or Use of Information

Under a law enacted in Illinois in 2011, the names and identifying information of applicants for, and recipients of, FOID cards are no longer public information.

Duration and Renewal

FOID cards are valid for a period of ten years from the date of issue. Sixty days prior to the expiration of a FOID card, the DSP must provide written notice to the card holder of the expiration and an application for renewal. The holder of a FOID card is obligated to notify the DSP of an address change following the issuance of the FOID card.


An Illinois resident with a valid FOID card who is not otherwise prohibited from obtaining, possessing or using a firearm may purchase a long gun and ammunition for a long gun in Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin or Kentucky. Any resident of Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin or Kentucky or a non-resident with a valid non-resident hunting license, who is 18 years of age or older and who is not prohibited by the laws of Illinois, the state of his or her domicile, or the United States from obtaining, possessing or using a firearm, may purchase or obtain a long gun or ammunition for a long gun in Illinois.

Any resident may purchase ammunition from a person outside of Illinois, provided the purchaser provides the seller with a copy of his or her FOID card and Illinois driver's license…

[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]

ID: Q8011

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