Illinois Gun Law

The laws governing the legal use, storage and carrying of firearms are constantly changing. Below are the applicable laws in the State of Illinois as of 2/20/2013. The below information is designed to be a guide and not the final word. If you have specific questions, please refer to the State of Illinois legislation at ilga.gov. Another good resource is the Illinois State Police and can be found at isp.state.il.us.

The laws below pertain to the Illinois Firearm Owner's Identification Cards (FOID). The FOID card was created in 1968, by the FOID Act, as a way to identify those persons eligible to possess and acquire firearms and firearm ammunition as part of a public safety initiative in the State of Illinois. The FOID card is NOT a "conceal and carry" card.

(430 ILCS 65/1) 
Sec. 1. It is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination that in order to promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, it is necessary and in the public interest to provide a system of identifying persons who are not qualified to acquire or possess firearms, firearm ammunition, stun guns, and tasers within the State of Illinois by the establishment of a system of Firearm Owner's Identification Cards, thereby establishing a practical and workable system by which law enforcement authorities will be afforded an opportunity to identify those persons who are prohibited by Section 24-3.1 of the Criminal Code of 2012, from acquiring or possessing firearms and firearm ammunition and who are prohibited by this Act from acquiring stun guns and tasers.

(430 ILCS 65/1.1) 
Sec. 1.1. For purposes of this Act:  "Has been adjudicated as a mental defective" means the person is the subject of a determination by a court, board, commission or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, mental impairment, incompetency, condition, or disease:
  (1) is a danger to himself, herself, or to others;
  (2) lacks the mental capacity to manage his or her own affairs;
  (3) is not guilty in a criminal case by reason of insanity, mental disease or defect;
  (4) is incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case;
  (5) is not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to Articles 50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a, 876b.
    "Counterfeit" means to copy or imitate, without legal authority, with intent to deceive.
    "Federally licensed firearm dealer" means a person who is licensed as a federal firearms dealer under Section 923 of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. 923).
    "Firearm" means any device, by whatever name known, which is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas or escape of gas; excluding, however:
  (1) any pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, orB-B gun which expels a single globular projectile not exceeding .18 inch in diameter or which has a maximum muzzle velocity of less than 700 feet per second;
   (1.1) any pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, or B-B gun which expels breakable paint balls containing washable marking colors;
  (2) any device used exclusively for signalling or safety and required or recommended by the United States Coast Guard or the Interstate Commerce Commission;
  (3) any device used exclusively for the firing of
     stud cartridges, explosive rivets or similar industrial ammunition; and
  (4) an antique firearm (other than a machine-gun) which, although designed as a weapon, the Department of State Police finds by reason of the date of its manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics is primarily a collector's item and is not likely to be used as a weapon.
"Firearm ammunition" means any self-contained cartridge or shotgun shell, by whatever name known, which is designed to be used or adaptable to use in a firearm; excluding, however:
   (1) any ammunition exclusively designed for use with a device used exclusively for signalling or safety and required or recommended by the United States Coast Guard or the Interstate Commerce Commission; and
   (2) any ammunition designed exclusively for use with a stud or rivet driver or other similar industrial ammunition.
"Gun show" means an event or function:
   (1) at which the sale and transfer of firearms is the regular and normal course of business and where 50 or more firearms are displayed, offered, or exhibited for sale, transfer, or exchange; or
   (2) at which not less than 10 gun show vendors display, offer, or exhibit for sale, sell, transfer, or exchange firearms.
"Gun show" includes the entire premises provided for an event or function, including parking areas for the event or function, that is sponsored to facilitate the purchase, sale, transfer, or exchange of firearms as described in this Section.
"Gun show" does not include training or safety classes, competitive shooting events, such as rifle, shotgun, or handgun matches, trap, skeet, or sporting clays shoots, dinners, banquets, raffles, or any other event where the sale or transfer of firearms is not the primary course of business.
"Gun show promoter" means a person who organizes or operates a gun show.
"Gun show vendor" means a person who exhibits, sells, offers for sale, transfers, or exchanges any firearms at a gun show, regardless of whether the person arranges with a gun show promoter for a fixed location from which to exhibit, sell, offer for sale, transfer, or exchange any firearm.
    "Sanctioned competitive shooting event" means a shooting contest officially recognized by a national or state shooting sport association, and includes any sight-in or practice conducted in conjunction with the event.
    "Stun gun or taser" has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 2012.

(430 ILCS 65/2) Sec. 2. Firearm Owner's Identification Card required; exceptions.
(a)(1) No person may acquire or possess any firearm, stun gun, or taser within this State without having in his or her possession a Firearm Owner's Identification Card previously issued in his or her name by the Department of State Police under the provisions of this Act.
    (2) No person may acquire or possess firearm ammunition within this State without having in his or her possession a Firearm Owner's Identification Card previously issued in his or her name by the Department of State Police under the provisions of this Act.
(b) The provisions of this Section regarding the possession of firearms, firearm ammunition, stun guns, and tasers do not apply to:
   (1) United States Marshals, while engaged in the operation of their official duties;
   (2) Members of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, while engaged in the operation of their official duties;
   (3) Federal officials required to carry firearms, while engaged in the operation of their official duties;
   (4) Members of bona fide veterans organizations which receive firearms directly from the armed forces of the United States, while using the firearms for ceremonial purposes with blank ammunition;
   (5) Nonresident hunters during hunting season, with valid nonresident hunting licenses and while in an area where hunting is permitted; however, at all other times and in all other places these persons must have their firearms unloaded and enclosed in a case;
   (6) Those hunters exempt from obtaining a hunting license who are required to submit their Firearm Owner's Identification Card when hunting on Department of Natural Resources owned or managed sites;
   (7) Nonresidents while on a firing or shooting range recognized by the Department of State Police; however, these persons must at all other times and in all other places have their firearms unloaded and enclosed in a case;
   (8) Nonresidents while at a firearm showing or display recognized by the Department of State Police; however, at all other times and in all other places these persons must have their firearms unloaded and enclosed in a case;
   (9) Nonresidents whose firearms are unloaded and enclosed in a case;
   (10) Nonresidents who are currently licensed or registered to possess a firearm in their resident state;
   (11) Unemancipated minors while in the custody and immediate control of their parent or legal guardian or other person in loco parentis to the minor if the parent or legal guardian or other person in loco parentis to the minor has a currently valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card;
   (12) Color guards of bona fide veterans organization or members of bona fide American Legion bands while using firearms for ceremonial purposes with blank ammunition;
   (13) Nonresident hunters whose state of residence does not require them to be licensed or registered to possess a firearm and only during hunting season, with valid hunting licenses, while accompanied by, and using a firearm owned by, a person who possesses a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card and while in an area within a commercial club licensed under the Wildlife Code where hunting is permitted and controlled, but in no instance upon sites owned or managed by the Department of Natural Resources;
   (14) Resident hunters who are properly authorized to hunt and, while accompanied by a person who possesses a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card, hunt in an area within a commercial club licensed under the Wildlife Code where hunting is permitted and controlled;
   (15) A person who is otherwise eligible to obtain a Firearm Owner's Identification Card under this Act and is under the direct supervision of a holder of a Firearm Owner's Identification Card who is 21 years of age or older while the person is on a firing or shooting range or is a participant in a firearms safety and training course recognized by a law enforcement agency or a national, statewide shooting sports organization; and
   (16) Competitive shooting athletes whose competition firearms are sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the International Shooting Sport Federation, or USA Shooting in connection with such athletes' training for and participation in shooting competitions at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and sanctioned test events leading up to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
(c) The provisions of this Section regarding the acquisition and possession of firearms, firearm ammunition, stun guns, and tasers do not apply to law enforcement officials of this or any other jurisdiction, while engaged in the operation of their official duties.
(d) Any person who becomes a resident of this State, who is not otherwise prohibited from obtaining, possessing, or using a firearm or firearm ammunition, shall not be required to have a Firearm Owner's Identification Card to possess firearms or firearms ammunition until 60 calendar days after he or she obtains an Illinois driver's license or Illinois Identification Card.

(430 ILCS 65/3) 
Sec. 3. (a) Except as provided in Section 3a, no person may knowingly transfer, or cause to be transferred, any firearm, firearm ammunition, stun gun, or taser to any person within this State unless the transferee with whom he deals displays a currently valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card which has previously been issued in his name by the Department of State Police under the provisions of this Act. In addition, all firearm, stun gun, and taser transfers by federally licensed firearm dealers are subject to Section 3.1.
(a-5) Any person who is not a federally licensed firearm dealer and who desires to transfer or sell a firearm while that person is on the grounds of a gun show must, before selling or transferring the firearm, request the Department of State Police to conduct a background check on the prospective recipient of the firearm in accordance with Section 3.1.
(b) Any person within this State who transfers or causes to be transferred any firearm, stun gun, or taser shall keep a record of such transfer for a period of 10 years from the date of transfer. Such record shall contain the date of the transfer; the description, serial number or other information identifying the firearm, stun gun, or taser if no serial number is available; and, if the transfer was completed within this State, the transferee's Firearm Owner's Identification Card number. On or after January 1, 2006, the record shall contain the date of application for transfer of the firearm. On demand of a peace officer such transferor shall produce for inspection such record of transfer. If the transfer or sale took place at a gun show, the record shall include the unique identification number. Failure to record the unique identification number is a petty offense.
(b-5) Any resident may purchase ammunition from a person within or outside of Illinois if shipment is by United States mail or by a private express carrier authorized by federal law to ship ammunition. Any resident purchasing ammunition within or outside the State of Illinois must provide the seller with a copy of his or her valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card and either his or her Illinois driver's license or Illinois State Identification Card prior to the shipment of the ammunition. The ammunition may be shipped only to an address on either of those 2 documents.
(c) The provisions of this Section regarding the transfer of firearm ammunition shall not apply to those persons specified in paragraph (b) of Section 2 of this Act.

(430 ILCS 65/3a) 
Sec. 3a. (a) Any resident of Illinois who has obtained a firearm owner's identification card pursuant to this Act and who is not otherwise prohibited from obtaining, possessing or using a firearm may purchase or obtain a rifle or shotgun or ammunition for a rifle or shotgun in Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin or Kentucky.
(b) 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 domicile, or the United States from obtaining, possessing or using a firearm, may purchase or obtain a rifle, shotgun or ammunition for a rifle or shotgun in Illinois.
(b-5) Any non-resident who is participating in a sanctioned competitive shooting event, 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 shotgun or shotgun ammunition in Illinois for the purpose of participating in that event. A person may purchase or obtain a shotgun or shotgun ammunition under this subsection only at the site where the sanctioned competitive shooting event is being held.
(c) Any transaction under this Section is subject to the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. 922 (b)(3)).

(430 ILCS 65/4) Application
Sec. 4. (a) Each applicant for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card must:
(1) Make application on blank forms prepared and furnished at convenient locations throughout the State by the Department of State Police, or by electronic means, if and when made available by the Department of State Police; and
(2) Submit evidence to the Department of State Police that:
    (i) He or she is 21 years of age or over, or if he or she is under 21 years of age that he or she has the written consent of his or her parent or legal guardian to possess and acquire firearms and firearm ammunition and that he or she has never been convicted of a misdemeanor other than a traffic offense or 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 with the Department as prescribed by the Department stating that he or she is not an individual prohibited from having a Card;
    (ii) He or she has not been convicted of a felony  under the laws of this or any other jurisdiction;
    (iii) He or she is not addicted to narcotics;
    (iv) He or she has not been a patient in a mental institution within the past 5 years and he or she has not been adjudicated as a mental defective;
    (v) He or she is not intellectually disabled;
    (vi) He or she is not an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States under the laws of the United States;
    (vii) He or she is not subject to an existing order of protection prohibiting him or her from possessing a firearm;
    (viii) He or she has not 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;
    (ix) He or she has not been convicted of domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction committed before, on or after January 1, 2012 (the effective date of Public Act 97-158). If the applicant knowingly and intelligently waives the right to have an offense described in this clause (ix) tried by a jury, and by guilty plea or otherwise, results in a conviction for an offense in which a domestic relationship is not a required element of the offense but in which a determination of the applicability of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9) is made under Section 112A-11.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, an entry by the court of a judgment of conviction for that offense shall be grounds for denying the issuance of a Firearm Owner's Identification Card under this Section;
    (x) (Blank);
    (xi) He or she is not an alien who has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa (as that term is defined in Section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26))), or that he or she is an alien who has been lawfully admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa if that alien is:
        (1) admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes;
        (2) an official representative of a foreign government who is:
           (A) accredited to the United States Government or the Government's mission to an international organization having its headquarters in the United States; or
           (B) en route to or from another country to which that alien is accredited;
        (3) an official of a foreign government or distinguished foreign visitor who has been so designated by the Department of State;
        (4) a foreign law enforcement officer of a friendly foreign government entering the United States on official business; or
        (5) one who has received a waiver from the Attorney General of the United States pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(3);
   (xii) He or she is not a minor subject to a petition filed under Section 5-520 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 alleging that the minor is a delinquent minor for the commission of an offense that if committed by an adult would be a felony;
   (xiii) He or she is not an adult who had been adjudicated a delinquent minor under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 for the commission of an offense that if committed by an adult would be a felony; and
   (xiv) He or she is a resident of the State of  Illinois; and
(3) Upon request by the Department of State Police, sign a release on a form prescribed by the Department of State Police waiving any right to confidentiality and requesting the disclosure to the Department of State Police of limited mental health institution admission information from another state, the District of Columbia, any other territory of the United States, or a foreign nation concerning the applicant for the sole purpose of determining whether the applicant is or was a patient in a mental health institution and disqualified because of that status from receiving a Firearm Owner's Identification Card. No mental health care or treatment records may be requested. The information received shall be destroyed within one year of receipt.
    (a-5) Each applicant for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card who is over the age of 18 shall furnish to the Department of State Police either his or her Illinois driver's license number or Illinois Identification Card number, except as provided in subsection (a-10).
    (a-10) Each applicant for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card, who is employed as a law enforcement officer, an armed security officer in Illinois, or by the United States Military permanently assigned in Illinois and who is not an Illinois resident, shall furnish to the Department of State Police his or her driver's license number or state identification card number from his or her state of residence. The Department of State Police may promulgate rules to enforce the provisions of this subsection (a-10).
    (a-15) If an applicant applying for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card moves from the residence address named in the application, he or she shall immediately notify in a form and manner prescribed by the Department of State Police of that change of address.
    (a-20) Each applicant for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card shall furnish to the Department of State Police his or her photograph. An applicant who is 21 years of age or older seeking a religious exemption to the photograph requirement must furnish with the application an approved copy of United States Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Form 4029. In lieu of a photograph, an applicant regardless of age seeking a religious exemption to the photograph requirement shall submit fingerprints on a form and manner prescribed by the Department with his or her application.
      (b) Each application form shall include the following statement printed in bold type: "Warning: Entering false information on an application for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card is punishable as a Class 2 felony in accordance with subsection (d-5) of Section 14 of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act.".
      (c) Upon such written consent, pursuant to Section 4, paragraph (a)(2)(i), the parent or legal guardian giving the consent shall be liable for any damages resulting from the applicant's use of firearms or firearm ammunition.

(430 ILCS 65/5)  Fees
Sec. 5. The Department of State Police shall either approve or deny all applications within 30 days from the date they are received, and every applicant found qualified pursuant to Section 8 of this Act by the Department shall be entitled to a Firearm Owner's Identification Card upon the payment of a $10 fee. Any applicant who is an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States, a member of the Illinois National Guard, or a member of the Reserve Forces of the United States is exempt from the application fee. $6 of each fee derived from the issuance of Firearm Owner's Identification Cards, or renewals thereof, shall be deposited in the Wildlife and Fish Fund in the State Treasury; $1 of such fee shall be deposited in the State Police Services Fund and $3 of such fee shall be deposited in the Firearm Owner's Notification Fund. Monies in the Firearm Owner's Notification Fund shall be used exclusively to pay for the cost of sending notices of expiration of Firearm Owner's Identification Cards under Section 13.2 of this Act. Excess monies in the Firearm Owner's Notification Fund shall be used to ensure the prompt and efficient processing of applications received under Section 4 of this Act.


(430 ILCS 65/6) 
Sec. 6. Contents of Firearm Owner's Identification Card.
(a) A Firearm Owner's Identification Card, issued by the Department of State Police at such places as the Director of the Department shall specify, shall contain the applicant's name, residence, date of birth, sex, physical description, recent photograph, except as provided in subsection (c-5), and signature. Each Firearm Owner's Identification Card must have the expiration date boldly and conspicuously displayed on the face of the card. Each Firearm Owner's Identification Card must have printed on it the following: "CAUTION - This card does not permit bearer to UNLAWFULLY carry or use firearms." Before December 1, 2002, the Department may use a person's digital photograph and signature from his or her Illinois driver's license or Illinois Identification Card, if available. On and after December 1, 2002, the Department shall use a person's digital photograph and signature from his or her Illinois driver's license or Illinois Identification Card, if available. The Department shall decline to use a person's
digital photograph or signature if the digital photograph or signature is the result of or associated with fraudulent or erroneous data, unless otherwise provided by law.
(b) A person applying for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card shall consent to the Department of State Police using the applicant's digital driver's license or Illinois Identification Card photograph, if available, and signature on the applicant's Firearm Owner's Identification Card. The Secretary of State shall allow the Department of State Police access to the photograph and signature for the purpose of identifying the applicant and issuing to the applicant a Firearm Owner's Identification Card.
(c) The Secretary of State shall conduct a study to determine the cost and feasibility of creating a method of adding an identifiable code, background, or other means on the driver's license or Illinois Identification Card to show that an individual is not disqualified from owning or possessing a firearm under State or federal law. The Secretary shall report the findings of this study 12 months after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly.
    (c-5) If a person qualifies for a photograph exemption, in lieu of a photograph, the Firearm Owner's Identification Card shall contain a copy of the card holder's fingerprints. Each Firearm Owner's Identification Card described in this subsection (c-5) must have printed on it the following: "This card is only valid for firearm purchases through a federally licensed firearms dealer when presented with photographic identification, as prescribed by 18 U.S.C. 922(t)(1)(C)."

Transport
Three statutory codes regulate the possession, transfer, and transportation of fi rearms - the Criminal Code, the Wildlife Code, and the Firearm Owner’s Identifi cation Act. In order to comply with those statutes when transporting a firearm, it must be:
1.  broken down in a non-functioning state; or
2.  not immediately accessible; or
3.  unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person who has been issued a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identifi cation Card.

Non-Resident Transport
Non-residents must be legally eligible to possess or acquire fi rearms and ammunition. Non residents are not required to have an Illinois FOID Card. It is recommended that in order to be in compliance with all statutes, non-residents transport all fi rearms:
1. broken down in a non-functioning state; or
2. not immediately accessible; or
3. unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying
box, shipping box, or other container.

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