How to Obtain a Gun License in Illinois

How to Obtain a Gun License in Illinois

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The State of Illinois has new, more extensive gun laws in an effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, gangs and young people. A license, or permit, to own a gun can be obtained but does not give the carrier permission to carry a concealed firearm. There are various steps to go through to acquire a gun license in Illinois and there are cities that ban handguns altogether. It is imperative to know all laws and regulations, not just statewide, but citywide.

Items you will need

  • Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card

  • Photo

  • Drivers license

  • State ID

Step 1

Get an application for a FOID (Firearms Owners Identification Card). These are available at some retail stores, firearms dealers or online by visiting the Illinois State Police website.

Step 2

Fill out the form being sure not to leave any blanks or unanswered questions. The card will be denied if the application is not completed in full. It is a relatively short form. Sign it where designated and, along with a check or money order for the appropriate fee, send it to the address listed on the form or return to the clerk at the location where the application was picked up to have him forward for processing.

Step 3

Be prepared to wait. Applications may take four to 10 weeks to be approved or denied. A thorough background check will be done prior to issuance. The FOID card must be approved and in hand before one may purchase a firearm in the state of Illinois.

Step 4

Research laws concerning handguns and firearms in your city or community. Many laws that were recently passed ban handguns entirely in some cities, such as Chicago and many of its surrounding smaller cities.


  • Not only is it common sense to keep firearms well out of children's reach, it is the law. Adults must keep guns and weapons inaccessible to children and, in most cases, will be held responsible for any action causing injury or death by or of a child due to careless firearm possession of adults.
  • Illinois does not provide licenses to carry concealed firearms or weapons. There are special laws and exceptions for hunters, trappers and law enforcement. Know those rules as well before carrying the firearm in your car or on your person.


  • After receiving the acceptance and FOID card a gun may be purchased in Illinois. Verification of age over 21 is mandatory. Parental or guardian consent to the purchase is necessary for persons under 21. Verification of legal residency and photo identification such as Illinois driver’s license or state I.D. will be required. Background checks and mental stability checks were previously concluded when application was made to obtain the FOID card, but they may be asked for again before purchasing a firearm.
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