How to Register a Firearm in Illinois

How to Register a Firearm in Illinois

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If you're interested in purchasing a handgun, rifle or shotgun in Illinois, you may be wondering how to register it. Despite Illinois' strict gun laws, the registration process is relatively simple and is usually completed with the help of the gun dealer's sales staff.

Items you will need

  • FOID card

Step 1

Visit a Federal Firearm Licensed (FFL) Gun Dealer.

Step 2

Present your Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card and select your firearm. (Don't have a FOID card? Check the Resources section, below, for instructions on how to get one!)

Step 3

Complete Federal Form ATF 4473. This form verifies eligibility to purchase a firearm and is necessary for the transfer of the firearm.

Step 4

Wait while the FFL dealer performs a background check. This can take a short amount of time or several days.

Step 5

The Illinois State Police (ISP) will tell the FFL dealer that you are "approved" or "denied" for purchase. If approved, you will need to wait a specific amount of time to take possession of the firearm.

Step 6

After the waiting period, you may pick up the firearm and transport it in accordance with state laws.


  • Failure to pass a background check for purchase may result in revocation of your FOID card.


  • The waiting period for handguns is 72 hours. The waiting period for rifles, shotguns and other "long guns" is 24 hours.
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