What is the Difference between FOID & CCL?

Posted by Moe Ahmad | Jan 30, 2020 | 0 Comments

There are two types of gun licenses for Illinois residents: A Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card and a Concealed Carry License (CCL). Open carry is currently not permitted in the state.


Every resident needs a valid FOID card to possess and purchase a firearm and/or ammunition. FOID cardholders (who do not have a CCL) can legally carry guns as long as they are unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or another type of container.

FOID cards are issued by the Illinois State Police and valid for up to 10 years. Although the minimum age to obtain a FOID card is 18 years old, individuals who are under 21 years of age must have written consent from a parent or legal guardian to be eligible.

The following are the eligibility rules for a FOID card in Illinois:

  • No felony conviction
  • Not adjudicated as a mental effective
  • Not a patient in a mental institution or received mental health treatment within the past five years
  • Not considered developmentally or intellectually disabled
  • Not used or been addicted to a controlled substance within the past year
  • Not subject to a restraining order
  • Not been convicted of assault, aggravated assault, battery, violation of a protective order, or any of those offenses that involved a firearm within the past five years
  • Not been convicted of domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, or a similar offense (whether it's a misdemeanor or felony)
  • Not an illegal immigrant
  • Not fail a drug test within the past year
  • Never been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military
  • Not a fugitive of the law


On July 9, 2013, Illinois enacted the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, which allows individuals with a license to carry a concealed handgun in public. A CCL is not necessary to carry a concealed handgun on your own property or another person's property (if granted permission by the property owner).

CCLs are also issued by the state police but on a “shall issue” policy, which means such a license will be issued if the criteria found in the law are met. Law enforcement officials have the right to deny someone a CCL if they believe the person is a danger to the public or themselves.

An applicant for a CCL must be at least 21 years old and have passed a 16-hour training course. In addition, a FOID card is required before applying for a CCL.

Other CCL eligibility requirements for residents include:

  • Not been convicted of a misdemeanor involving violence or the threat of violence within the past five years
  • Not been convicted of two or more DUIs involving alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both within the past five years
  • Not have a pending arrest warrant
  • Not received court-ordered or residential treatment for alcohol or drugs within the past five years
  • No objections from law enforcement officials

Illinois also honors non-resident CCLs from residents in Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia. These non-residents are also exempt from having a FOID card to concealed carry in the state.

If you have been charged with a firearm-related offense in Chicago, contact Ahmad Law Firm today and schedule a free consultation.

About the Author

Moe Ahmad

Attorney Mohammad (Moe) Ahmad received his Juris Doctor Degree from Western Michigan University, Cooley Law School. As a skilled trial lawyer and former prosecutor of the...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Reviews From Clients & Colleagues

  • “Hiring Mr. Ahmad would be a wise choice!”

    M. Lascola
  • “Moe is a very capable and competent lawyer.”

    D. Cosley
  • “The criminal defense community is lucky to have Mr. Ahmad on its side.”

    P. Bhatt
  • “I would definitely recommend him.”

    Happy Client
  • “A formidable force for his client's well being.”

    J. Fagan
  • “Tenacious and meticulous.”

    J. Worley
  • “An excellent attorney.”

    H. Wise
  • “Highly skilled criminal attorney.”

    M. Javier
  • “Extremely dedicated and knowledgeable.”

    S. Azhari
  • “I endorse this lawyer because he is excellent at what he does.”

    G. Newland

Get Started With Your Defense

Request your free case evaluation to learn about the options available to you.

Contact Our Firm