Illinois Concealed and Carry Law frequently asked questions


Where can I get fingerprinted for my application?
You can contact the Niles Police Department at 847-588-6500 to schedule an appointment to be fingerprinted. The fee is $65 for fingerprinting, in the exact amount. Payment must be made in cash or credit card, no checks will be accepted.
You must bring:

  • All documentation provided by the State of Illinois,
  • Valid Driver’s License or State issues Identification Card and
  • Valid F.O.I.D. card.
Walk-ins are welcome but it is highly recommended to schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment please call 847-588-6500.

Who can apply for Concealed Carry, the applicant must:
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have a currently valid FOID card (if an Illinois resident)
  • Is not prohibited under federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm
  • 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 5 years
    • 2 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 5 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 5 years
  • Submit a completed Concealed Carry License application
  • Successfully complete 16 hours of firearms training, including classroom and range instruction.
What type of firearm will I be allowed to carry concealed?
A "Concealed firearm" is defined, in relevant part, as a loaded or unloaded handgun.

"Handgun" means any device which is designed to expel a projectile or projectiles by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas, or escape of gas that is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.

"Handgun" does not include:
  1. A stun gun or taser;
  2. A machine gun as defined in item (i) of paragraph (7) of subsection (a) of Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 2012;
  3. A short-barreled rifle or shotgun as defined in item (ii) of paragraph (7) of subsection (a) of Section 24-1 of the Criminal Code of 2012
Any pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, or B-B gun which expels a single globular projectile not exceeding .18 inch in diameter, or which has a maximum muzzle velocity of less than 700 feet per second, or which expels breakable paint balls containing washable marking colors.

Will persons be allowed to open carry?
No. A handgun carried on or about a person must be concealed from view of the public or on or about a person within a vehicle.

What is the parking lot exemption for CCL holders in prohibited places?
Any licensee prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm into the parking area of a prohibited location shall be permitted to carry a concealed firearm on or about his or her person within a vehicle into the parking area and may store a firearm or ammunition concealed in a case within a locked vehicle or locked container out of plain view within the vehicle in the parking area. A licensee may carry a concealed firearm in the immediate area surrounding his or her vehicle within a prohibited parking lot area only for the limited purpose of storing or retrieving a firearm within the vehicles trunk, provided the licensee ensures the concealed firearm is unloaded prior to exiting the vehicle. This exception does not apply to any area where firearms are prohibited under federal law or to property regulated by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Business and Property Owners
Where can business owners obtain information about required signage?
Signage information is available on this website at

Can a business owner post a sign larger than 4 inches by 6 inches?
Yes. The Illinois State Police has adopted administrative rules permitting the property owner to incorporate the 4 X 6 inch template into a larger sign; however, the required template must be reproduced as a 4 X 6 inch image somewhere on the larger sign. The administrative rules also permit inclusion of additional language on the larger signs.
Can a business prohibit a weapon from being secured inside a locked vehicle while the vehicle is parked in a business parking lot?
It does not appear that even a private property owner can do so given the parking lot safe haven provision.

I am a business owner; however, I rent the real property used to conduct my business. Does the authority rest with the property owner or me to allow/prohibit concealed firearms in my business?
The authority rests with the property owner. This is true unless otherwise specified in a rental or lease agreement. Again, there is nothing in the FCCA that preempts a real property owner from designating this authority to a lessee through an appropriate lease agreement.

Prohibited Areas

The following areas will prohibit the carrying of a concealed weapon:
  • Schools, including elementary, secondary, and pre-schools and child care facilities (Operators of a child care facility may possess a firearm, but must keep it in a locked container any time a child is present in the home)
  • State property, including the executive, legislative and judicial branches (except designated hunting areas or buildings where firearms are permitted by the Dept. of Natural Resources)
  • Local Government buildings
  • Adult or juvenile detention centers, priors, jails or other correctional institutions
  • Hospitals, mental health facilities and nursing homes
  • Buses, trains and other forms of public transportation, as well as buildings, property or parking lots under the control of a public transportation facility
  • Bars (defined as any establishment that serves alcohol, if more than 50% of its gross receipts are from the sale of alcohol)
  • Public gatherings and special events on property open to the public that requires a permit issued by a unit of local government (street fairs, “taste of” events, festivals, etc.)
  • Any building or property issued a Special Event Retailers License for the sale of alcohol
  • Any public playground
  • Parks, athletic fields under the control of a city or park district (does not include a trail or bike path, if only a portion of the trail or bike path includes a public park)
  • Property under control of the Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Public and private universities and colleges and community colleges, including classrooms, athletic venues, hospitals, laboratories, performance halls and galleries, as well as parking areas, sidewalks and common areas
  • Gaming facilities, horse racing tracks and off-track betting parlors
  • College and professional sports facilities
  • Libraries
  • Airports
  • Amusement parks
  • Zoos and museums
  • Nuclear power plants or other facilities regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (no vehicle “safe haven”)
  • Any area where firearms are prohibited by federal law (no vehicle “safe haven”)
Additional Provisions for Colleges, Community Colleges and Universities:
  • May prohibit persons from carrying firearms within any vehicle owned or controlled by the college or university;
  • May establish their own policies involving discipline;
  • May establish their own policies regarding designated areas for parking vehicles that carry firearms;
  • May permit carrying and use of firearms for recognized programs, such as a shooting club, firearm instruction, military science and law enforcement training.
  • (In almost all cases, the prohibitions include parking lots and other property under control of the entity):

Vehicles Are a Safe Haven

Anyone carrying a concealed firearm onto a parking area may store the firearm in a case that is locked in the vehicle or in a locked case in the vehicle. Persons are permitted to step out of their vehicle in order to lock the weapon in a trunk or retrieve it when leaving the area.

The “Safe Haven” provisions do not apply to nuclear power plants or facilities. They also do not apply to any area where firearms are prohibited by federal law.

For a more detailed list of questions and answers regarding concealed carry licensing please click on the Illinois State Police Icon below.