State Law Background
Among other things, Illinois:
- Requires that all individuals without concealed handgun permits obtain a ten-year license (a Firearm Owner’s Identification, or FOID, card) to purchase or possess firearms and ammunition. The licensing process requires a detailed background check on the prospective FOID cardholder;
- Imposes waiting periods between the purchase and actual transfer of a firearm to a purchaser – 24 hours for long guns and 72 hours for handguns;
- Has implemented some design safety standards for handguns and has equipped the state attorney general with the authority to adopt detailed standards for handguns;
- Has a Child Access Prevention law, which prohibits leaving a firearm unlocked and accessible to a minor under the age of 14; and
- Requires firearms owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement.
Illinois does not, however:
- License or otherwise regulate firearms dealers;
- Require firearm owners to register their firearms;
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Impose restrictions on purchases or sales of multiple firearms;
- Give local law enforcement broad discretion to deny concealed weapons permits; or
- Generally allow local jurisdictions to regulate firearms (with certain limited exceptions).
In 2013, Illinois had the 10th lowest rate of gun deaths among the states. Even this relatively low ranking means that 1,178 people died from firearms injuries in Illinois in that year.
Far more crime guns are trafficked into Illinois than out of the state. Based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns (“MAIG”), in 2009, Illinois had the eighth lowest rate of crime gun exports among the states – meaning that guns originally purchased in Illinois were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the eighth lowest rate among the states. Illinois exports crime guns at a rate that is less than half the national average. Illinois also imports four times as many crime guns as it exports.
Illinois Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Illinois, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.