illinois foid card

Illinois concealed carry laws are far newer than in most states. In fact, the state is the last in the nation to allowed concealed carry permits; first allowing the law to go into effect after July 9, 2013. State Police were given 180 days to come up with the new laws, and they are as follows:

Is Illinois an Open Carry State?

Illinois is a shall-issue state, so it’s not legal to open carry. Since the state does not allow open carry, it is illegal to open carry in a vehicle or on your person.

Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses

illinois concealed carry laws

One of the benefits of Illinois being the last state to allow concealed carry licenses is that the state had a massive amount of framework to go off of. The state’s laws have allowed for over 300,000 permits to be issued.

A main benefit of this is that the state leaves some of the power to remain with local law enforcement.

While every applicant must meet standard requirements to receive a license, law enforcement can deny an applicant.


If the applicant is:

  • A danger to himself/herself
  • A danger to the public

In this case, law enforcement can deny the license, but the final say will go in front of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board.

The applicant and law enforcement will have their cases heard, and the board will consider all of the arguments. An approval or denial will be sent to the applicant via mail, and if the applicant objects to the board’s decision, an appeal process does exist.

How to Get a Concealed Carry Permit in Illinois?

Illinois requires residents to have two main things to be able to conceal carry:

  • Illinois FOID Card (Firearm Owners Identification Card)
  • Illinois Concealed Carry License (CCL)

If you want to obtain a CCL, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants must be at least 21 years old
  • Maintain a valid FOID
  • Not be a convicted felon
  • Not fail a drug test within the past year
  • Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor within the past five years which involves violence or physical force
  • Applicants must not have been convicted of two or more DWI or DUI while driving in the past five years
  • Applicants must not have been in court-ordered or residential treatment program for drugs or alcohol in the past five years

All applicants must also meet federal law requirements. The applicant cannot be considered for a permit if they’re pending prosecution or have a warrant that would otherwise disqualify the applicant.

Residents applying for the application will need to know the following:

  • Processing times are 90 – 120 days
  • Fees are $150 for residents; $300 for non-residents
  • Licenses are valid for a period of 5 years

When applying for your Illinois CCL as a non-resident, you will need to:

  • Be a resident of a state that has laws related to firearm ownership
  • Possession and carry must be very similar to that of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act

There are only four states, at the time of writing this article, that have “substantially” similar laws that will allow non-residents to receive their CCL:

  1. Arkansas
  2. Mississippi
  3. Texas
  4. Virginia

If you find that your eligible for either a resident or non-resident license, you must go through the four-step process to be approved:

  1. Complete firearms training. A state-approved instructor’s training must be obtained. All training will be for a 16-hour period, and will require the following:
    • Safe
    • Principles of marksmanship
    • Loading, unloading and cleaning of a firearm
    • Laws applicable to Illinois and federal laws for carrying and storing a firearm
    • Proof of certification
    • Pass the live exercise portion of training
  2. Complete the application. An application can be filed online, and this will allow you to provide all of the appropriate documents for applying for your license. This will include:
    • Valid driver’s license
    • Valid FOID or proof that a FOID is in process
    • Copy of training certificates
    • Proof of 10 years of residency
    • Head and shoulder’s picture taken within the last 30 days
    • Pay the registration fee
  3. Wait for processing. The processing can take 90 – 120 days, depending on if fingerprints have been provided.
  4. Notification. The final step involves waiting for the notification of approval or denial in the mail.

Apply for your FOID and CCL online at:


Illinois Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map

Illinois Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map
Image Courtesy of USCCA

[alert-announce]Illinois does not allow or honor concealed carry permits from other states.[/alert-announce]

But numerous states will allow a person to conceal carry in their state with an Illinois CCL. These states include:


  • Alabama
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota



  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma



  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin


Illinois CCW reciprocity map can change at any time, so it’s important to check with the state where you intend to carry to ensure that reciprocity does exist. Illinois concealed carry classes may or may not provide information on concealed carry.

All persons that choose to conceal carry in another state will be subject to state laws.

Illinois Concealed Carry: Places Permitted to Carry

Places where CCL holders are allowed to carry their firearms include:

  • Vehicles
  • All areas not considered “off-limits”
  • State forests
  • National forests
  • State parks
  • Restaurants, unless posted otherwise

Illinois Concealed Carry: Places Off-Limits

Places off-limits for all concealed carry holders include:

  • Pre-schools
  • Childcare facilities
  • Private elementary or secondary schools
  • Public elementary or secondary schools
  • Courts (circuit, appellate and Supreme Court)
  • Buildings or areas under control of a local government
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Jail or prison
  • Detention centers
  • Establishments where 50% of gross receipts come from the sale of alcohol in the past 3 months
  • Special events open to the public
  • Any property or building granted a Special Event Retailer’s license
  • Playgrounds (public)
  • Athletic areas or facilities
  • Areas under control of a public or private college or university
  • Facilities licensed under the Riverboat Gambling Act
  • Facilities licensed under the Illinois Horse Racing Act
  • Amusement parks
  • Zoos
  • Museums
  • Airport
  • Public library
  • Areas regulated by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Places prohibited under Federal Law

Additional Laws and Requirements

Illinois concealed carry renewal does require a 3-hour renewal class to be taken, but you will have to qualify at the shooting range again. You will not have to take a test on the rest of the information covered.

Another fee of $150 will be required for renewal and there is also an additional charge for the class, which ranges from $60 – $85.

A few additional bits of information that should be noted:
  • Open carry is not permitted.
  • “No weapon” signs are enforced.
  • You don’t have to notify an officer when carrying.
  • Members of the military or those that have completed firearms training in other states can obtain an 8-hour credit towards their 16-class requirement.
  • There is a 72-hour waiting period when purchasing a firearm before the firearm is given.
  • FOID cards are required when purchasing a firearm or ammunition.
  • Private sellers of firearms must verify the buyer’s FOID card and keep their record of sale for 10 years.
  • Illinois does have stand your ground laws.
  • Firearm’s training may exempt active law enforcement or firearms instructors.