Chicago Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses are Coming, or are they?

20131030-115155.jpgEarlier this week I posted about my trip to Chicago, IL and my plans for self protection while there. Many of you had recommendations for every day carry items that I might use to keep myself safe, and I am grateful. However, Illinois recently passed concealed carry legislation that will change the self defense opportunities for Chicago residents, and I wanted to take a look at what these new laws have to say.

First, we must remember that while HB183 passed the Illinois house in June of 2013 concealed carry licenses are not yet available in Illinois. The Illinois State Police website claims that applications will be available starting the middle of January 2014, but because of the government shutdown a delay would not surprise me.

Second, the permitting process in Illinois will require training from an instructor specifically approved by the State Police. The course is at least 16 hours and has many facets. I can imagine that, for many, two days of classes will be something of a hardship. Also, from my knowledge of enrollment fees for two to four hour intensive firearm classes, I worry that the cost of these courses may add up exponentially. Tack this cost onto the $150 fee that Illinois plans to charge for the resident license and a CCL may become unattainable for most.

As a non-resident, I will have the option of obtaining a Illinois CCL, but for me the fee will be $300. Also, I will have to obtain the same 16 hours of training, and on top of all that I will be required to show that I am a concealed carry permit holder for my state of residence. So what are my other options when it comes to defense in Chicago? We already discussed a few on Monday and while flashlights, knives and tasers are all good suggestions, the Illinois statutes are strangely silent on these “weapons.”

Unlike my Georgia Firearms License, Illinois’ CCL does not acknowledge other forms of “weapons” accept to say that the law’s reference to a “handgun” cannot be construed as meaning a “machine gun,” “taser” or “B-B gun.” (Well thanks for clearing that up!) This was my third trip to Chicago and though I enjoyed the city before, this time I officially fell in love. It’s a great city with all the activities and excitement of a big city, but all the warmth I appreciate from midwestern folks. The changes in gun legislation further my belief that Chicago is a town in which I would be happy to live. While it’s exciting to see Chicago citizens regaining their rights, I will wait for licensing to officially begin before fully passing judgement, (or signing up).


    1. If I ever want to leave the south, I might consider it… Since I know I’ve already got a gal pal to show me around :))

  1. Not exactly silent on Tasers, looks like they treat them like a firearm.

    From a layman’s take on it: assuming the new CCW law doesn’t include them by name, and since the court ruling invalidating the standing carry law only addressed -firearms- per the 2nd Amendment (which would not include Tasers as the Feds don’t deem them as firearms), it appears that you still can’t carry them off private property, only transport them.

    (720 ILCS 5/24-1)
    Sec. 24-1. Unlawful Use of Weapons.
    (a) A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he knowingly:

    (4) Carries or possesses in any vehicle or concealed on or about his person except when on his land or in his
    own abode or fixed place of business any pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser or other firearm, except that
    this subsection (a) (4) does not apply to or affect transportation of weapons that meet one of the following

  2. Honestly, I’m probably going to wait (not just to save up the dollars, because the authorized 2 day classes are about 250 bucks) just to see what happens with the law before spending my hard earned money to get to carry a firearm in any place that isn’t a hospital, stadium, restaurant, etc….I don’t disagree with more training per se, but to make me jump through that many hoops just so I can carry a gun in what amounts to “anywhere but a building” is reason enough for me to wait, keep donating to the ISRA and the NRA, and see what freedoms we can shake loose. Meanwhile, I just keep my knife handy and hope those criminals don’t get carry permits! Obviously they can’t carry a gun without one right?

  3. This is direct from the Illinois State Police Website:
    Out of state residents are granted a limited exception to lawfully carry a concealed firearm within a vehicle if they are eligible to carry a firearm in public under the laws of their state or territory of residence and are not prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under federal law. This rule became effective immediately.

    If the non-resident leaves his/her vehicle unattended, he or she shall store the firearm within a locked vehicle or locked container within the vehicle in accordance with subsection (b) of Section 65 of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act.

    For further information go here:

  4. As a lawyer who works in downtown Chicago, everything you mentioned in your article is secondary to the restricted area issue. Every office building and most other establishments are going to post no firearms signs. The only clients I know who aren’t are in the suburbs.

  5. In the last paragraph ” accept to say” should probably have been “except to say”

  6. They are very specific about what is allowed in Chicago. You are only allowed a 2.5″ blade on your knife in Chicago. Also no auto open on your knife in IL. Be Careful. IL, especially Chicago isn’t very “Rights” friendly to any rights.

  7. Lifelong Illinois resident here… I don’t expect the Illinois State Police to actually permit anyone for quite awhile. Currently, they are lawfully required to provide the loathesome FOID card (Firearms Owner’s ID) within 30 days of receipt of payment. I have waited as long as 100 days for a renewal, much less a new card; I have a son who is only recently discharged from the military who is over 60 days for a renewal now. Thus, I can see the argument, “We are overworked/overloaded/overwhelmed” and needn’t abide the law. Add to that the ISP leadership serves at the whim of the anti-gun governor, and expect roadblocks galore until all the Chicagoland cities and counties get back their control. Chicago is a great place to visit, but there is no way I’d live within 50 miles, and am currently over 150 miles away.

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