Who Can Carry?

Who can carry loaded, concealed handguns in my community? 

Under the new concealed carry law, it is strictly prohibited for citizens to carry loaded, concealed handguns in Illinois’ communities unless they obtain a license from the Illinois State Police (ISP) in the manner outlined under the new law.

In order to be approved for a concealed carry license, individuals must address certain minimal requirements, including that he or she:

  • Is 21 years old,
  • Has a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card, or be an eligible out-of-state resident,
    • Have not been convicted or found guilty (in any state) of a misdemeanor involving the use or threat of physical force or violence to any person or driving while intoxicated within last 5 years,
    • Is not subject of arrest warrant or prosecution for an offense that would lead to a firearm prohibition,
    • Has not been in any residential or court-ordered alcohol or drug- treatment program within five years.
    • Has successfully completed firearms training.

In addition, a chief law enforcement officer may object if he or she has a “reasonable suspicion” that the applicant is a danger to himself or herself or others or a threat to public safety.  If this occurs, the person may, or may not, still be issued a license, depending on the decision of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board, which consists of 7 judicial, law enforcement and mental health professionals appointed by the Governor. Similarly, the Board has discretion to issue or deny a license to a person who has been arrested 5 or more times within the past 7 years, or a person who has been arrested 3 or more times within the past 7 years for gang-related offenses.   The Board generally will issue a decision within 30 days as to whether it has determined that an applicant is eligible or ineligible for a license.


 Will citizens from other states be allowed to carry loaded, concealed guns in my community if they have a license from their home state? 

The law does allow non-residents to apply for an Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses for a fee of $300 if their state’s concealed carry license laws are determined by the Illinois State Police as “substantially similar” or stronger than Illinois’ requirements.

The law also allows a non-resident to carry a concealed firearm inside his or her vehicle if he or she is eligible to carry a firearm in public under the laws of his or her home state.

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Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence