Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Concealed Carry in Illinois.’ Guns in Public. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 5 August
Concealed Weapons Permitting in Illinois
On July 9, 2013, Illinois adopted the Firearm Concealed Carry Act allowing individuals to carry a concealed handgun in public.
Illinois is a "shall issue" state, which means the Department of State Police (DSP) must issue a concealed handgun license it if the applicant meets the following qualifications:
- Is at least 21 years old;
- Has a currently valid Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) Card and at the time of application meets the requirements for the issuance of a FOID Card, and is not prohibited under Illinois or federal law from possessing a firearm;
- Has not been convicted or found guilty in Illinois or any other state of:
- A misdemeanor involving the use or threat of physical force or violence to any person within five years preceding the date of the license application; or
- Two or more violations related to driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicating compounds, or any combination thereof within the five years preceding the date of the license application;
- Is not the subject of a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to disqualification to own or possess a firearm;
- Has not been in residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, alcohol detoxification, or drug treatment within the five years preceding the date of the license application; and
- Has completed the required firearms training.
In addition, the applicant must show in the application that he or she has not:
- Been convicted of a felony; and
- Failed a drug test for a drug which the applicant did not have a prescription within the previous year.
DSP will conduct a background check on the applicant reviewing all relevant and available federal, state, and local records.
Firearms Safety Training
An applicant for a new license to carry a concealed firearm must provide proof of completion of at least 16 hours of a firearms training course (or combination of courses) approved by DSP.The training must cover the following:
- Firearm safety;
- Basic principles of marksmanship;
- Care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a concealable firearm;
- All applicable Illinois and federal laws relating to the ownership, storage, carrying, and transportation of a firearm;and
- Instruction on the appropriate and lawful interaction with law enforcement while transporting or carrying a concealed firearm. In addition, an applicant for a new license must provide proof of certification by a certified instructor that the applicant passed a live fire exercise with a concealable firearm consisting of: 1) A minimum of 30 rounds; and 2) 10 rounds from a distance of 5 yards, 10 rounds from a distance of 7 yards, and 10 rounds from a distance of 10 yards at a target approved by DSP.
DSP and certified firearms instructors recognize up to eight hours of training already completed toward the 16-hour training requirement if the training course is approved by DSP and recognized under the laws of another state. DSP accepts up to eight hours of training as completed toward the 16-hour training requirement if the applicant is an active, retired, or honorably discharged member of the United States Armed Forces.
Duration and Renewal
The license is valid for five years from the date of issuance. A license will be renewed for a period of five years upon receipt of a completed renewal application which includes a new background check. An applicant renewing his or her license must provide proof of completion of at least three hours of a firearms training course or combination of courses approved by DSP. An applicant for a renewal must submit a $150 fee.
A resident of a state or territory approved by DSP with firearm ownership, possession, and carrying laws that are substantially similar to Illinois' requirements to obtain a license under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act may apply for a non-resident license.
Law Enforcement Discretion
Any law enforcement agency may submit an objection to a license applicant based upon a reasonable suspicion that the applicant is a danger to himself or herself or others, or a threat to public safety. The Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board will consider any objection to an applicant's eligibility to obtain a license submitted by a law enforcement agency or DSP.
Disclosure or Use of Information
DSP maintains a database of license applicants and licensees. The database is available to all federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, State's Attorneys, the Attorney General, and authorized court personnel. No law enforcement agency, State's Attorney, Attorney General, or member or staff of the judiciary is to provide any information to a requester who is not entitled to it by law.
Firearms instructors must maintain a record of each student's performance for at least five years, and must make all records available to authorized personnel of DSP.
The Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board reports monthly to the Governor and the General Assembly on the number of objections received, and provides details of the circumstances in which the Board has denied licensure based on the objections of law enforcement or DSP. The report shall not contain any identifying information about the applicants. Meetings of the Board are not subject to the state Open Meetings Act and records of the Board are not subject to the state Freedom of Information Act.
A licensee shall not knowingly carry a concealed firearm on or into:
- A public or private elementary or secondary school;
- A pre-school or child care facility;
- Any area under the control of an officer of the executive or legislative branch of government;
- Any building designated for matters before a circuit court, appellate court, and/or under the control of the Supreme Court;
- Any building under the control of a unit of local government;
- An adult or juvenile detention or correctional institution, prison, or jail;
- A public or private hospital or hospital affiliate, mental health facility, or nursing home;
- Public transportation facilities, buses, trains or other forms of public transportation;
- An establishment that serves alcohol on its premises;
- Any public gathering or special event conducted on property open to the public that requires the issuance of a permit from the unit of local government;
- Any public playground;
- Any public park, athletic area, or athletic facility under the control of a municipality or park district;
- Any real property under the control of the Cook County Forest Preserve District;
- Any public or private community college, college, or university;
- Any building, real property, or parking area under the control of a gaming facility licensed under the Riverboat Gambling Act or the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975, including an inter-track wagering location licensee;
- Any stadium, arena, or the real property or parking area under the control of a stadium, arena, or any collegiate or professional sporting event;
- Any public library;
- Any airport;
- Any amusement park;
- Any zoo or museum;
- Any street, driveway, parking area, property, building, or facility owned, leased, controlled or used by a nuclear energy, storage, weapons or development site or facility regulated by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission; or
- Any area where firearms are prohibited under federal law.
[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]