Waiting Period to Buy a Gun in Illinois

Posted by Moe Ahmad | Mar 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

Under the Second Amendment, each U.S. citizen is afforded the right to keep and bear arms. In Illinois, however, prospective gun owners must apply for a card that allows them to own a gun before they are able to make a purchase. After that, there are different rules based on which kind of gun the person is looking to buy. Waiting periods vary for other options as well, such as for a concealed weapons permit.

Waiting Period to Qualify for Gun Ownership

In Illinois, all hopeful gun owners must first register with the police to obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. Applicants are screened based on any criminal history, mental disorders, and legal residency. To apply, you will need a photograph taken within the last 30 days, a valid driver's license or ID card, and $10 to pay the application fee.

After you apply, the Illinois State Police will run a background check to ensure you are not guilty of criminal violence or that you have severe mental illness. While the application process can take as long as 60 days before you receive anything, most applicants receive their FOID within about 30 days.

Other Waiting Periods by Gun Type

Once you have your FOID, you will be eligible to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer. The state of Illinois requires that while sellers can complete a transaction for gun sale right away, at least 24 hours must pass before any "long gun" (rifle or shotgun) can be transferred. For handguns, that waiting period is increased to 72 hours.

The aim of these waiting periods is to prevent any erratic purchases from taking place that could lead to impulsive crimes of violence. Municipalities within Illinois may have different laws that apply to your situation, so make sure to read about those laws before making any purchases.

A FOID permit requires your gun to be in one of the following states:

  • Broken down in a non-functioning state
  • Not immediately accessible
  • Unloaded and enclosed in a case

Applicants for Conceal & Carry Permits

Once you own a gun, you may be interested in a conceal and carry permit. While Illinois does not permit open carry (visibly displaying a firearm in public), you can apply to have a gun within your reach.

Like a FOID, a concealed weapons permit requires that applicants wait for a processing period before they are granted their permit; 90-180 days of processing time. Applicants must also be at least 21, pay a processing fee and lack criminal history for certain types of offenses.

However, to ensure safe gun practices, all applicants must first complete a 16-hour training course that includes classroom instruction and fire range instruction. If you are successful in your application and receive a permit, it will be valid for 5 years.

How an Attorney Can Help

For some people, a criminal history can bar them from being able to own a gun. With a Chicago criminal defense attorney on your side, you can investigate what is causing you to be ineligible. At Ahmad Law Firm, we understand the importance of your rights, and we can help you work toward the best possible outcome for your situation. For more information, call (847) 791-2294 or contact us online.

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...


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