Illinois residents wishing to purchase, possess or use firearms generally must have a Firearm Owner’s Identification card. You can download the most current application from the Illinois State Police website here. There are exceptions to this “must have FOID card to touch a gun/ammunition” rule, including one for individuals receiving firearm training instruction from a FOID cardholder, but generally speaking, you need to get one if you don’t have one.
Your spouse / significant other / kids / grand kids should all have a FOID cards as well, to preclude issues of them borrowing your car with a gun and/or ammunition inside. Even a single .22 caliber rimfire cartridge rolling around under the seat can spell big trouble for your loved one should they run into the wrong police officer / sheriff’s deputy. Need another reason? When they have their own FOID card, they can buy you firearms and ammunition for birthdays and Christmas. (Hint, hint).
Transporting Firearms in Illinois.
Illinois does not have conventional carry of firearms as forty-nine other states do. We have something called “fanny pack carry” which is (please suppress your giggles) the carry of an unloaded, encased firearm by a FOID card holder. Kind of like Barney Fife, but without the single cartridge in the gun.
We told you not to laugh.
K-Bar makes an excellent fanny-pack and it’s available at Wal-Mart online at their Site-to-Store option. $25ish. Highly recommended as it’s comfortable, fairly small and discrete.
We at Guns Save Life call it “Six Seconds to Safety”. Why six seconds? Well, there’s some alliteration going on there, and also typically speaking, it takes about six seconds to draw from a fanny pack, load and fire two A-zone hits (that would be the center of the chest of a bad guy for the non-shooters reading this) with your personal protection tool.
Don’t take our word for it. Browse the Illinois State Police website’s document library. Download the Illinois State Police “Transport Your Gun Legally” flyer. Print it out and put it in your fanny pack or other case where you transport your firearm. (Here it is on our server).
Illinois did pass, through an over-ride of the governor’s veto, a right-to-carry law back in July 2013. It is still in the development phase as the Illinois State Police are going to release applications around New Year’s and will start issuing licenses in the weeks or (more likely) months afterward.
Many counties are tacitly allowing “FOID-carry” of loaded guns in lieu of an ISP-issued carry license. We don’t recommend it. You could face felony charges and you are relying on officer- or prosecutor-discretion in a state where common sense seems to be less common with each passing week.
Don’t get yourself arrested and catch a felony when we’re literally weeks (albeit quite a few weeks) from carry licenses being issued. If you want to carry today, do so legally. Unloaded and encased.
This important document should be included in your firearm carrying case or other container. It can be downloaded (.pdf document) from the Illinois State Police website here.
For more information on the new law, and the Illinois State Police’s list of approved instructors and courses, here’s the link to the Illinois State Police’s “Concealed Carry” web page.