As we previously reported, the Illinois legislature passed House Bill 183 last year, making Illinois the last state in the nation to allow the concealed carry of firearms. On Jan. 5, 2014, the Illinois Concealed Carry License application went live on the Illinois State Police website. Soon the State will finally begin to feel the real impact of the law.

Those seeking to legally carry firearms in Illinois under the new law must apply for and be issued a Concealed Carry License by the Illinois State Police (ISP). Upon receipt of a qualified application, the ISP will issue or deny the applicant a Concealed Carry License with 90 days. As a result, individuals may be legally carrying concealed handguns in Illinois as early as April 5, 2014.

According to the ISP website, the following are qualifications an applicant must possess in order to be issued an Illinois Concealed Carry License: 

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have a valid FOID (Firearm Owner’s Identification) card (if an Illinois resident)
  • Have not been convicted or found guilty in Illinois or any other state of:
    • A misdemeanor involving the use or threat of physical force or violence to any person within the last five years
    • Two or more violations related to driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof, within the last five years
  • Not be the subject of a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to disqualification
  • Not have been in residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, alcohol detoxification, or drug treatment within the last five years
  • Submit a completed Concealed Carry License application
  • Successfully complete 16 hours of firearms training, including classroom and range instruction.

In order to demonstrate completion of firearm training, applicants are required to upload an electronic copy of their training certificate(s) with their application.

Recent news reports indicate that more than 15,000 people have already submitted applications for the Concealed Carry License.

Illinois employers are reminded that the law affords discretion to private property owners to permit or prohibit the concealed carry of firearms on their premises. For those wishing to prohibit firearms on their premises, the law requires “clear and conspicuous” posting of a 4”x6” sign at the entrance of the building or property. The ISP recently issued a state-approved sign, a template of which is available for download on the ISP’s website here.

Employers must be aware, however, that even if they prohibit firearms and comply with the law’s sign requirements, guns may still be lawfully kept on their property if locked and out of plain sight inside a vehicle.

A full text of the Illinois law and our prior Alert on this topic are available here.