More states recognizing Illinois concealed-carry permits

A growing number of states are honoring Illinois’ new concealed-carry permit.

Since becoming available to the public in January, 22 other states recognize the Illinois permit, meaning it authorizes the holder to carry there. The list includes all of Illinois’ neighboring states, much of the Midwest and portions of the West and South.

The state’s stringent 16-hour course requirement is likely a major factor, Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said.

“I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. You get more hours of training in Illinois than a [military] recruit gets with an M-16,” Pearson joked.

But the recognition does not go both ways. Illinois does not honor any other state’s permit, which is not likely to change any time soon, if ever.

Illinois was the last state in the union to allow citizens some form of carrying handguns for personal protection in public. State lawmakers in the last days of the spring legislative session in May 2013 hashed out a bill legalizing concealed carry to comply with a 2012 federal court ruling that struck down Illinois’ total ban.

The 16-hour course is the longest of any state, but can be shortened depending on level of training, such as being a certified weapon instructor or being an honorably discharged Armed Forces veteran. Upon completion of the course, applicants who want the license must pay a $150 fee for a permit good for five years.

Nonresidents who want to carry in Illinois can get a license for $300, but their permits in other states are not otherwise honored. Illinois’ concealed carry law otherwise allows them to keep their weapons in the car while in transit.

Gun owners who want to carry throughout much of the U.S. usually do so by obtaining nonresident concealed-carry permits for Utah and Florida, which are recognized in 31 and 33 states, respectively. The course requirement for those states is only four hours.

The list of states that recognize Illinois’ permit likely will increase as states review their agreements, Pearson said. Gun-friendly Texas, for example, honors permits from most other states but not yet Illinois.

“Concealed carry is old hat to [other states], so they don’t think there are going to be any problems. If a guy wants to come from Illinois and he has all this training, let him,” Pearson said.

States that honor the Illinois permit besides its immediate neighbors are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Vermont.

On the Net

You can learn more about the Illinois concealed carry law and find a list of certified instructors on the Illinois State Police concealed-carry website at