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Understanding Gun Laws for Illinois Residents and Non-Residents

 Posted on October 09, 2018 in Weapon Charges

Downers Grove weapons charges defense lawyerFirearm safety and gun laws are hot-button topics in America due to the high number of shootings that have occurred over the last couple of decades. Though many are advocating for the tightening of gun regulations across the nation, it is difficult to accomplish this when gun laws differ so significantly from state to state and situation to situation. Firearm owners should be sure to understand their gun rights as an Illinois resident or non-resident in order to avoid the possibility of facing weapons charges

Resident Rights

Obtaining the ability to legally carry and use a gun in Illinois is a fairly lengthy process. Residents planning to own firearms must acquire a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. This is issued by the Illinois State Police after completing the application process and a required course. After receiving a FOID card and purchasing a gun, there is a 72-hour waiting period in order to earn possession of the firearm. 

Having a FOID card does not allow Illinois residents to walk around public areas while carrying guns. A concealed carry license is necessary in the state of Illinois. This is another process that requires the completion of a 16-hour training course. Applicants must be at least 21 years old. After obtaining a concealed carry license, Illinois residents must abide by the following regulations:

  • It is legal to carry a loaded weapon in vehicles.
  • One cannot “open carry” a firearm.
  • It is not necessary to inform a police officer of the presence of a firearm.
  • A person will be subject to legal penalties if they carry a firearm into an area designated by signs that say “No Weapons.”

In the state of Illinois, 243,245 residents have active concealed carry licenses. Owning a concealed carry license in Illinois does not mean that the license is valid in all 50 states. 26 states honor the Illinois concealed carry license, which means that 24 states do not. It is crucial to understand gun laws state-by-state to avoid experiencing legal trouble when traveling with firearms.

Nonresident Rights

The state of Illinois does not honor any other state permits regarding firearms. This means that it is strictly illegal to own and/or carry firearms throughout Illinois if one does not have a license issued by the Illinois State Police. However, Illinois does offer reciprocity for residents of Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia, due to the similarity in their gun laws to those of Illinois. Residents of these states will be issued non-resident concealed carry licenses if they are correctly applied for. 

Contact a DuPage County Weapons Charges Defense Attorney

The particulars of gun laws can be very difficult to understand, especially for those who are not residents of Illinois. Nevertheless, it is crucial to have a good understanding of firearm laws in your home state or any states you are traveling to in order to avoid potential criminal charges. At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., we aid Illinois residents and nonresidents who find themselves at odds with Illinois gun laws. If you are facing criminal charges related to the possession or use of a firearm, contact our Oak Brook criminal defense lawyers at 630-472-9700 to schedule a free consultation.


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