To say that Illinois is not a gun-friendly state is, at times, an understatement. That being said, if you stay up to date with the laws, the Second Amendment is still recognized in the great state of Illinois. On July 9, 2013, the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act became law and can be found at 430 ILCS 66.
In Illinois, you need two licenses to be allowed to concealed carry. You will first be required to obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification (“FOID”) card and then apply for and obtain your Concealed Carry License (“CCL”), which has certain specific requirements that we will summarize in this article. Keep in mind that Illinois is a strict concealed carry state, NOT an open carry state. The licensing is monitored and controlled by the Illinois State Police, which has exclusive control over who gets a CCL and FOID.
How to Obtain Your CCL in Illinois
The first step is to obtain your FOID, which is issued by the Illinois State Police. To apply, you need to be 21 years old and have a valid Driver’s License or state I.D., a head and shoulder electronic photograph taken within the last 30 days, and $10 payable with credit card or electronic check. Although a complete list of eligibility requirements and other general information can be found in the Firearms Owners Identification Card Act located at 430 ILCS 65, in order to receive a FOID, you cannot have any history of domestic battery, any felony convictions, or any mental disabilities. Once you obtain a FOID, you can then apply for a CCL. (You can apply for both at the same time, but if you are denied the FOID, you cannot get a CCL—so we recommend getting your FOID first.) The CCL application should be reviewed to confirm you meet those requirements. The CCL applicant must be 21 and have either no criminal convictions or a certain time lapse between conviction and application date, which is clearly stated in 430 ILCS 66/30. Keep in mind, local police departments can file objections to your application if they believe you are a danger to yourself or others. A conviction is not always required for local police departments to file an objection.
Completing Your CCL Training
In Illinois, you must complete 16 hours of concealed carry firearms training provided by an Illinois State Police approved instructor. The training consists of the following:
- 2 hours of firearms safety
- 3 hours of basic marksmanship
- 3 hours of care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a concealed firearm
- 4 hours of applicable State and Federal laws, including transportation of a firearm
- 4 hours of handling of a weapon
Many of the classes can be completed in two days. Upon satisfactory completion, you will receive a certificate from the instructor, which you will need to take the next step.
Submitting Your Application
The CCL application can now be submitted to the Illinois State Police. Review it for accuracy before you submit because you will be sworn to its truthfulness, and mistakes will be considered against the applicant.
You will need to submit the following:
- Electronic copy of the training certificate
- Illinois State Police user ID and password
- A valid FOID card (unless you are in the process of obtaining one)
- A valid Driver’s License or State ID card
- A head and shoulder electronic photo taken within the last 30 days
- Provide 10 years of residency
- $150 fee
If approved, you will receive your CCL in the mail.
Renewing Your CCL
Your CCL is valid for five years from the date of issuance. Once it expires, you will need to attend a three-hour refresher course, which includes requalifying on a range, to renew your CCL.
However, the Illinois State Police issued new emergency rules pertaining to expired FOID cards and CCLs during the COVID-19 disaster period. License holders who submit renewal applications will see their licenses remain valid during the duration of the state’s disaster proclamation for a period of 18 months following the termination of the disaster, even if their renewal application was not submitted prior to expiration. CCL holders will need to submit proof of their three-hour renewal training within 18 months following the termination of the state’s disaster proclamation to maintain the validity of their CCLs.
Please keep yourself up to speed on the Illinois laws, which are rapidly changing. If you have any further questions regarding obtaining your Illinois Concealed Carry License, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
The information provided in this publication is intended to provide general information to individuals and is not legal advice. The information included in this publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication without the prior written consent of U.S. LawShield, to be given or withheld at our discretion. The information is not a substitute for, and does not replace the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. We strive to ensure the information included in this publication is accurate and current, however, no claim is made to the accuracy of the information and we are not responsible for any consequences that may result from the use of information in this publication. The use of this publication does not create an attorney-client relationship between U.S. LawShield, any independent program attorney, and any individual.