In Illinois, you can only conceal carry firearms. The state does not permit open carry except in particular situations.

Open carry is only for activities like hunting, in local areas. But this depends on the counties’ firearm regulations.

To deal with firearms in the state, you must be familiar with the gun laws.

Illinois Gun Law Summary

Illinois issues concealed carry licenses to anybody that meets all requirements to do so.

The state police department is in charge of processing the permit, and it is a shall-issue state.

The police have the discretion to either accept or reject applications, but fair hearing is given to those that have rejected applications.

A review board will be in charge of the hearing, and after investigation, the board will make a final decision.

Is Open Carry Legal In Illinois?

No. Open carry is illegal in Illinois, and you are not permitted to do so either on you or in a vehicle.

Open Carry Laws In Illinois

Illinois is a non-permissive state for open carry. This means that gun laws prohibit the open carry of firearms in the state.

The state also has restrictions on the possession of firearms.

Armored piercing firearms and machine guns that make more than one shot after pulling the trigger are prohibited.

The only exception is if law enforcement officers are using these guns.

Illinois Open Gun Law Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.NoNoOpen carry is illegal in Illinois with or without a permit.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NoNoIllinois does not require firearms registration
Assault weapon for open carry.NoNoThe use of armor-pierced firearms is not allowed in Illinois.
Magazine limitNoNoIllinois statutes do not state any firearm magazine limit except cook county that prohibits high-end magazines defined as those that have ten round ammunitions or more
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredThere is no license issued for owning a firearm.
Red flag lawYesYesThe state can issue a protection or restriction order prohibiting possession of firearms.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesIllinois is a castle doctrine state, and you have to stand your ground against an intruder in your home.
Background check for private dealersYesYesA background check is compulsory for all dealers in the state, the process to this is by verifying the firearm identification number
PreemptionYesYesIdaho gun laws supersede that of any local government law in the state.
Concealed carry permit.NoYesYou must obtain a concealed carry license for weapons in the state. But this is only available for handguns.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleNoYesYou can conceal carry in your vehicle with your license.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoYou cannot openly possess your firearm in schools, colleges, universities, and every other technical institution.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Illinois?

Here are the places where you can possess your firearm in Illinois:

  • Restaurants and bars: You can open carry in restaurant areas only and not in the bar areas.
  • Personal vehicle: You can only be with your firearm in a private car if you have a license to carry.
  • State parks, forests, and wildlife management areas: You can possess your firearm in these places.
  • Worship places: You can possess your firearm in churches, mosques, and synagogues, except they have a post prohibiting this.

Where Is Illegal To Open Carry In Illinois?

Illinois gun law prohibits the possession of firearms in the following places.

  • Schools: You cannot possess a firearm in schools, either elementary, colleges, or universities. This also includes school transportations.
  • Stadium: You cannot possess a firearm in any stadium or where a professional sports event is taking place, except for firearms competitions.
  • Legislative buildings: You cannot possess firearms in any legislative building in the state.
  • Hospitals: Illinois prohibits the possession of firearms in hospitals, mental, and nursing homes.
  • Prisons: You cannot possess firearms in jails, correctional homes, or detention facilities.
  • Public places: You cannot possess a firearm in public places like a library, zoos, museums, or on public transport.
  • Restricted buildings: You cannot possess your firearm in any personal building or property that has a sign prohibiting it.
  • Courts: Courthouses are out of bounds for the possession of firearms in Idaho.
  • Prohibited places: You cannot conceal carry in areas prohibited by federal laws of the country.

FAQs About Open Carry Illinois

Some of the frequently asked questions about open carry in Illinois include the following:

Can I Use A Concealed Weapon License To Open Carry In Illinois?

No. Open carry is not legal in Illinois, and you cannot do so with a license.

What Is Illinois Age Requirement For Firearm Possession?

To possess and transport a firearm in Illinois, you must be at least eighteen years old.

At What Age Can I Apply For Concealed Carry License In Illinois?

The minimum age requirement to apply for a concealed carry license in Illinois is twenty-one years old.

Does Illinois Have Red Flag Law?

Yes. A family member or law enforcement officer can file a petition to prohibit a person’s possession of firearms as long as the person is a threat to himself or another person.

Is Illinois A Constitutional Carry State?

No. Illinois does not recognize constitutional carry in the state.

What Type Of Knife Can I Use As A Weapon In Illinois?

Illinois prohibits the possession of ballistic and throwing star knives.

Does Illinois Have Restriction For Firearms Used In The State?

Yes, the state prohibits armored piercing firearms, and there are provisions as to what properties of weapons are not acceptable.

Must I Obtain A Purchase Permit To Buy Firearms In Illinois?

Yes, you must apply for the state’s firearm identification card before you can buy a firearm.

Is Criminal Record Background Check A Necessity For Firearms Purchase In Illinois?

Yes. All dealers of a firearm in the state, either private, state, or federally licensed, must verify a buyer’s identification card before completing sales of a gun to them.

Also, your concealed carry license does not exempt you from the check.

How Long Will It Take Me To Complete a Firearms Purchase In Illinois?

You must wait for seventy-two hours to complete your identification card verification before buying a firearm.

Does Illinois Issue A Non-resident Concealed Carry License In The State?

Illinois issues non-residents concealed carry license only to residents of the following states:

  • Arkansas
  • Mississippi
  • Texas
  • Nevada
  • Virginia
  • Idaho

Must I Inform The Police About My Possession Of Firearms In Illinois?

No, except an officer asks you directly, you are not under any obligation to notify about your possession of a firearm.

Does Illinois Have Castle Doctrine Policy?

You have an obligation to self-defense in your home of residence, and Illinois state laws do not accept the prosecution of anyone defending his or her home.

For How Long Is Illinois Concealed Carry License Valid?

The license is valid for five years after which you have to apply for a renewal.

At What Time Can I Start My License Renewal In Illinois?

You can start renewing your license ninety days to the expiry date.

Is Firearm Training An Important Requirement For License Application In Illinois?

Yes. You must complete a sixteen hours training class conducted by a state-certified instructor.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Illinois

Some of the Illinois laws related to open carry in the state include the following:

Magazine Limit For Firearms

Illinois law does not specify a limit for firearm magazines in the state. However, Cook County in Illinois has a ban or high capacity magazines.

Here, high capacity magazines are those that will accept an ammunition round of more than ten.

Firearm Restriction In Illinois

Illinois has restrictions on the types of firearms allowed in the state.

The state prohibits armor-piercing bullets that have the following properties:

  • Projectile core.
  • Bullets that are fully jacketed and bigger than the standard twenty-two caliber used for handguns.
  • Bullets with jackets that weigh more than a quarter of the whole projectile weight.

However, this description does not include handguns made from fragile materials like lead, zinc, copper, or their alloys mainly manufactured for professional sporting events.

Also, Illinois prohibits a full metal jacket handgun for firearms training because of jacket weight and gun composition.

Residents of Illinois that want to buy a firearm must first apply for an identification card.

Even if the resident buys the weapon from another state, the firearm identification card and Illinois identification are requirements to ship it into the state.

No Weapon Posts In The State

Illinois statutes allow the usage of posts and signage to prohibit the possession of firearms in the state.

Any building or location that carries firearm prohibition signs must post them at the entrance, in a place where all will see it. 

The sign is a notice to anyone entering the building that they are not allowed to do so with firearms, regardless of permit possession.

Illinois statutes also require that all signs for this purpose be of four inches by six inches in size.

Anybody that violates a no weapon sign law is guilty of a misdemeanor categorized as class B in Illinois.

If the person subsequently violates this law, that is a class A misdemeanor, and the person might have his or her license suspended for at least six months.

According to section sixty-five of Illinois law relating to this act, a third violation will lead to a license revoked with a fine of one hundred and fifty dollars’ payable to a mental health fund, and any other additional court cost.

Preemption Law

Illinois has preemption gun laws, and the state government has the domineering authority to finalize laws concerning the usage of firearms.

However, local governments can regulate gun laws in their territory for the following cases:

  • If individuals should obtain firearm identification cards and carry licenses.
  • The use of any other firearm other than handguns.
  • Situations that have to do with the buying, selling, and possession of firearms.

Red Flag Law

Section sixty-six of firearm laws in Illinois allows a family member or an officer of the law to submit a petition to a court of law, in order to restrict the possession of a person’s use of firearms in the state.

Brandishing Of Firearms

You are not allowed to intimidate anybody using a firearm in the state.

Intimidation here is intentionally using a firearm to influence a person’s communication either directly or indirectly while threatening to inflict harm on the person.

If found guilty, you will face prosecution for this in the state.

Using Firearms Under The Influence

It is a prohibition to handle firearms under the influence of alcohol in the state.

This also includes under the influence of any drug or intoxicating substance, as explained by the state’s vehicle code standards.

Possession Of Firearms While hunting

You are not allowed to possess a firearm during hunting activity in Illinois, and this also includes possession of concealed firearms.

The only exception to this law is if the firearm you are using is lawful for the type of game you are hunting.

Illinois also has hunter harassment laws to protect hunting activities in the state.

They include the following:

  • A person violates a legal hunting activity when he or she interferes with the taking of games in wildlife or aquatic life to prevent such activity. 
  • A person violates legal hunting activities by disturbing wildlife to interfere with hunting.
  • A person violates a legal taking activity by deliberately interfering, disturbing, or harassing a hunter who is in the process of taking a game.
  • A person violates hunting activities by using any type of stimuli to prevent or disturb wildlife or aquatic life.
  • A person violates legal hunting activity by erecting barriers, to limit movement in wildlife where hunting occurs.
  • A person violates legal hunting activity by interjecting the finishing lines used for taking aquatic lives.
  • A person violates a legal hunting activity by physically impacting the condition of a property used for the taking of wildlife.
  • A person violates hunting activities by trespassing of private land without permission from the landowner, with the aim to disrupt hunting.
  • A person violates a legal hunting activity by refusing an order to maintain order from a peace officer.
  • A person violates legal hunting activity by using a drone in such a way that disturbs wildlife or aquatic life.

Additional Resources

Illinois Gun Laws
Illinois Concealed Carry Laws
Illinois Gun Permit Laws

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