How to Apply for a Concealed Carry License

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.

To obtain a CCW application, please go here.


What sort of training requirements are mandated to ensure that only responsible gun owners may carry loaded, concealed handguns in my community? 

 The Illinois Concealed Carry Law requires the Illinois State Police (ISP) to establish approval standards for certified firearms instructors and firearm-training courses that all concealed carry license applicants must successfully complete.  In addition, ISP publishes a registry of all approved instructors and courses on their website.

The required 16-hour firearms training course includes range qualification time and covers the following:

  1. Firearm safety
  2. The basic principles of marksmanship
  3. Care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a concealable firearm
  4. All applicable state and federal laws relating to the ownership, storage, carry, and transportation of a firearm
  5. Instruction on the appropriate and lawful interaction with law enforcement while transporting or carrying a concealed firearm.

All applicants must pass a live fire exercise with a concealable firearm consisting of:

  1. A minimum of 30 rounds
  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 B-27 silhouette target approved by the ISP.


Don’t you already need a firearm identification card (FOID) to own a gun in Illinois?

Yes, but that does not entitle someone to carry a handgun in public.  In order to carry a handgun in public one must apply for a concealed carry license.  A gun owner does not need to get a CCW license if he or she is NOT planning on carrying the gun in public.


Other than specific CCL requirements, are there any other requirements for possessing a gun in Illinois?

Unless specifically exempted by statute, any Illinois resident who acquires or possesses a firearm or firearm ammunition within the State must have in their possession a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card issued in his or her name. Non-residents are not required to have a FOID card. New Illinois residents have sixty calendar days after obtaining an Illinois driver’s license or Illinois Identification Card to obtain a FOID card.

Applicants who have been convicted of felonies, certain misdemeanors, or have had certain kinds of mental health issues or intellectual disabilities are ineligible to receive a FOID card.   People subject to certain kinds of restraining orders or are addicted to narcotics, and non-immigrant aliens are also ineligible.

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Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence