Summary of Illinois Gun Laws
Illinois is a shall-issue state, meaning that Illinois State Police must issue a concealed carry license if the applicant meets certain qualifications. However, Illinois differs from other states in that it still gives law enforcement the right to object to a concealed carry license being issued if they think the applicant is a danger to public safety or himself/herself. If the police do object, then the case is heard by the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board, who will make the final decision as to whether or not a license is issued. The applicant is notified by mail of the Board’s decision. There is an appeal process.
Open carry of a handgun on your person or in a vehicle is illegal.
Illinois law requires residents to have a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) to possess a firearm or ammunition. An Illinois Concealed Carry License (CCL) is required to concealed carry a firearm in Illinois. The license permits the licensee to carry a concealed loaded or unloaded handgun on his or her person or within a vehicle. FOID card holders (without a CCL) can legally carry unloaded firearms that are enclosed in a case. Non-resident licenses are only available for residents of Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia. A 16-hour firearms training course conducted by a state-approved instructor is required for all new concealed carry license applications. In terms of reciprocity, Illinois does not honor CCW licenses from any other state.
Illinois is a Castle Doctrine state. You are under no legal duty to retreat if threatened, and using deadly force is justified. Furthermore, the law prevents claims being filed against any person defending his or her house.
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