Understanding Gun Rights in Illinois

When it comes to your right to bear arms in Illinois, understand that there are many laws and restrictions to navigate in order to lawfully own firearms. This should absolutely not, however, deter you from purchasing, owning, or carrying firearms.

Illinois is the only state to require a FOID (Firearms Owner Identification) card, which is required to purchase, own, or transport any legal firearm. You must be 21 and an Illinois resident to apply for a FOID card, or have your parent’s signature on a notarized form, in addition to having a clean rap sheet. You must be 18 years old to purchase a long gun (a rifle or shotgun) and 21 years old to purchase a handgun.

When it comes to using a firearm in a self-defense situation, understand that Illinois does not recognize “Stand Your Ground” laws, but it does recognize “Castle Doctrine”. This means that unlike “Duty To Retreat” states, you are not obliged to retreat from an intruder that intends to harm you, and you are authorized to use deadly force to save your life and your family members’ lives. However, this only applies within the boundaries of your home, not just anywhere like in a “Stand Your Ground” state.

Illinois disallows open carry, so to carry a loaded firearm outside of your home, you must have an Illinois permit to carry, and the weapon must be concealed. Illinois is one of the most difficult states for obtaining a license to carry; you will need 16 hours of training, a litany of personal information to give the state, and it will cost $150. To carry your firearm as a self-defense tool outside your home, you will need to acquire a carry permit and research local legislation regarding self-defense laws.

While Illinois has stringent regulations on firearms, it shouldn’t deter anyone from exercising their Second Amendment right. For more information, please contact Dennis Leifheit at:

Northern Illinois Carry, LLC

405 Somonauk St.

Sycamore, IL 60178

Phone: (815) 501-9421