ISP Seal Illinois State Police
Concealed Carry Frequently Asked Questions
DISCLAIMER: Answers provided to the following questions are meant only to give general guidance. The answers do not and are not meant to replace statutory language.

If you have a question regarding the Firearm Concealed Carry Act that is not addressed in this section, please call (217) 782-7980.

Assistance to the Public
Steps to Application Process
Click here to view step by step instructions on how to apply for a Concealed Carry License


Business and Property Owners
Where can business owners obtain information about required signage?
Signage information is available on this website at https://ccl4illinois.com/ccw/Public/Signage.aspx.
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.
If a business does not prohibit concealed carry and there is a firearms related incident on its property, is the business liable for the incident?
This is not a question for the Illinois State Police. Business owners concerned about liability issues regarding the FCCA should retain private legal counsel with whom they can confer on these matters. The ISP cannot give legal advice to private business owners.
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.
Can a business allow customers to carry concealed, yet prohibit employees from doing it?
This is an employment law question. The Illinois State Police cannot give legal advice to employers; however, the law is not written to preempt an employer's right to have more restrictive employment policies. If a business owner or employer wants to prohibit only employees, they should not post the required sign as doing so makes the location a prohibited place. Rather, this should be addressed through appropriate employment policies.
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.
Can a state agency prohibit concealed carry for all of its buildings or are there any limitations it has to worry about?
All state buildings are prohibited areas and must be posted as such.
Can a state agency develop policies that say employees leave them at home or put the weapon in the trunk before coming onto the grounds? Or does the state agency have to accept employees putting the weapon in the trunk before entering the building?
This is an employment law question. The Illinois State Police cannot give legal advice to employers. That said, while the law does not specifically preempt an employer's right to have more restrictive employment policies, it is not clear that an employer can override the parking lot safe haven exemption created by the statute. This would be particularly true for a public employer.
Concealed Carry License Applicant
What is the cost for an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
$150 for 5 years for Illinois residents
$300 for 5 years for out-of-state residents
How does a citizen apply for an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
The application is now available to the public on the ISP webpage. Additional information regarding the application and fingerprinting process have also been added to this website.
How long will it take a citizen to obtain an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
Upon receipt of a completed application, including fee, the ISP shall issue or deny the applicant an Illinois Concealed Carry License within 90 days, provided the applicant submits a full set of fingerprints in electronic format. If fingerprints are not submitted the ISP is granted an additional 30 days to complete a manual background check. In all cases, law enforcement agencies will have 30 days to file an objection once an application is received.
Where can I go to be fingerprinted?
Concealed Carry License applicants who intend to submit fingerprints for non-criminal justice purposes must be fingerprinted by a licensed Illinois live scan vendor or registered law enforcement agency authorized to submit for Conceal Carry purposes. A list of licensed live scan fingerprint vendors is available at the following link:

https://www.idfpr.com/LicenseLookUp/fingerprintlist.asp

This list is all inclusive; accordingly, any vendor not on this list is not a Licensed Illinois Livescan Vendor. Prints from non-licensed vendors will not be accepted.
The Act requires applicants to submit a photo taken within the past 30 days, will the photo taken as part of the Fee Application for applicants who submit electronic fingerprints satisfy this requirement?
No. All applicants must submit a photo taken within the past 30 days even if they were photographed as part of their fingerprinting process.
What are the qualifications for an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
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
  4. 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.
Are there any publicly available computers I can use to apply for a Concealed Carry License?
Yes. Based on the Illinois Public Library Annual Report (FY13), all public libraries in Illinois have internet access. Please use the attached links to locate a public library in your area.

Chicago Public Library System http://www.librarylearning.info/libraries/?LibSys=CPLS&LibraryTypeID=1

Illinois Heartland Library System http://www.librarylearning.info/libraries/?LibSys=IHLS&LibraryTypeID=1

Reaching Across Illinois Library System http://www.librarylearning.info/libraries/?LibSys=RAILS&LibraryTypeID=1
My application was denied based upon a decision of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board to sustain a law enforcement objection filed regarding my application. Can I challenge the decision of the Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board?
Yes, pursuant to Section 87(a) of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (430 ILCS 66), final orders of the Board are subject to judicial review pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Review Law. You may challenge the decision of the Board by filing a written Petition For Review in the circuit court of the county of your residence. If you intend to file such a petition, please be advised that it must be filed within 35 days of the Board's final order.
My application was denied by the Director of the ISP other than for reasons related to my FOID Card eligibility. Can I appeal the decision to deny my FCCL application?
Yes, pursuant to Section 1231.170 of the Department's Administrative rules, you may request informal administrative review of the denial by logging into the Concealed Carry Portal via the ISP website (www.isp.state.il.us) and click on the ''Request Review'' button. This satisfies the written request for administrative review to the Department as required by the Department's Administrative Rules (20 ILAC 1231.170(b)(1)). You must make your request for informal administrative review within 60 days after receipt of the notice that your application is denied.
What should my appeal include?
At the time you make a request via the website for an informal administrative review, you will be asked to provide a personal statement outlining the reason for your appeal and a description of the information you are providing to correct your application or criminal history record. You may also attach additional documents as needed.
Can I appeal in person at the Firearm Services Bureau office?
No, If you arrive at these offices and request to do so, you will be directed to leave and submit your appeal as indicated above.
My application was denied because I am ineligible for a FOID Card. Can I appeal the decision to deny or revoke my FOID Card?
Yes, you may either request relief from your firearms prohibitor or appeal the revocation or denial of your FOID card as directed in the letter you received regarding your FOID application or Card. For further information regarding FOID Relief and Appeals, please click on the following link: FOID FAQ
What if the reason my application was denied is that my training certificate is invalid?
You should request informal relief pursuant to 20 ILAC 1231.170(b), and submit a new training certificate issued consistent with the provisions of Section 75 of the Act.
What if I cannot schedule new training within 60 days of receipt of the notice that my application was denied?
You should appeal in writing within the 60 days to preserve your right to administrative appeal while you pursue further training. If you are denied informal relief because you do not have a new training certificate, you may request a formal administrative hearing which will allow you additional time to obtain a valid training certificate.
Can I get credit for any of the hours from my previous training certificate that has been determined to be invalid?
No. You will need to complete 16 hours of training from an approved instructor whose approval to instruct has not been revoked.
How do I get a refund for the training costs for the certificate that has been deemed invalid?
Questions regarding restitution should be directed to your instructor or the State's Attorney's Office for the county in which you received your training.
What if my application was denied by the CCLRB?
Pursuant to Section 87 of the Act, you may petition the Circuit Court in the county of your residence for a hearing upon the denial.
Can I FOIA or otherwise request a copy of any objections filed with the CCLRB regarding my application?
No, all materials considered by the Board shall be exempt from inspection except upon order of a court. 430 ILCS 66/20(d).
How long do I have to petition the Court to appeal a denial by the CCLRB?
Pursuant to the Administrative Review Law, requests to review a denial by the CCLRB, which is a final administrative decision, must be commenced within 35 days from the date that the denial was served upon the applicant. 735 ILCS 5/3-103.
Can out-of-state residents obtain an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
Yes. However, only residents of states or territories of the United States that have laws related to firearm ownership, possession, and carrying, that are substantially similar to the requirements to obtain a license under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act are eligible.
What does "substantially similar" mean?
"Substantially Similar" means the comparable state regulates who may carry firearms, concealed or otherwise, in public; prohibits all who have involuntary mental health admissions, and those with voluntary admissions within the past 5 years, from carrying firearms, concealed or otherwise, in public; reports denied persons to NICS; and participates in reporting persons authorized to carry firearms, concealed or otherwise, in public through Nlets.
How can I find out if my state's laws are considered "substantially similar?"
The Illinois State Police sent a survey to each state to determine which of them has laws that are substantially similar. Click here to find out how your state responded and if your state's laws have been determined to be substantially similar. Currently, the only states considered to be substantially similar are Hawaii, New Mexico, South Carolina and Virginia.
Note: Not all states have responded to the survey.
Curriculum
If a business or one or more Instructors are teaching from the same curriculum, are all instructors using the curriculum required to submit it to the ISP for approval?
No, once curriculum is approved and listed on the ISP's website as approved curriculum, any approved instructor with access to the curriculum may use it.
Will instructors have to retain the B27 qualifying target or a digital copy for purposes of retaining a record of each student's performance for 5 years?
No. Pursuant to the Act, the instructor must keep a record of each student's performance for a period of 5 years. The ISP will not dictate the manner in which such record is kept. Depending upon the size of business, record keeping systems may vary.
Are there any naming convention requirements for curriculum approval?
No. The name of the class is immaterial. The only requirements for curriculum approval is that it meet the subject and minimum hour requirements set forth in administrative rule.
What is public storage?
Public Storage means storage at publicly owned location, for example in a storage locker provided by a public or government facility, which may or may not have its own storage rules or protocols.
When will ISP begin posting a list of approved curriculum on its website?
The ISP has posted a registry of approved curriculum on its website and will add additional curriculum as they are reviewed and approved.
Once the curriculum is listed as approved, must it be taught by an approved instructor in order for the applicants to get credit for the training?
Yes, approved curriculum must be taught by an approved instructor. People who qualify for up to 8 hours of credit for prior training, which is explained in further detail within the Training Questions, need not have been trained by an approved instructor.
Enforcement
How will Illinois State Police (ISP) officers and local law enforcement respond to citizens who are carrying weapons?
The ISP will continue to enforce the law in effect. Persons who carry firearms without a Concealed Carry License issued by the ISP are subject to arrest.
Who needs an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
Everyone who wants to carry a concealed firearm on his/her person in Illinois is required to have an Illinois Concealed Carry License except current peace officers and retired police officers eligible under a federally approved retired officer concealed carry program such as the Illinois Retired Officer Concealed Carry (IROCC) Program. Retired officers may be eligible to carry under either the IROCC Program or the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (430 ILCS 66).
Will Illinois Concealed Carry License holders have reciprocity in other states?
This will be determined by the laws of the 49 other states. Illinois Concealed Carry License holders who want to conceal and carry in other states are responsible for researching the state laws to where they are traveling.
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.
Instructor Applicant
How can I register as a Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor?
The ISP has established administrative rules consistent with the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. A link to the instructor approval application is available on the ISP webpage.
Why do Instructor Applicants have to pay a fee of $31.50 for the fingerprint based background check?
Fees for fingerprint based background checks are set pursuant to state and federal law. The ISP cannot charge more than the fees required by law.
Where can I go to be fingerprinted?
Concealed Carry License applicants who intend to submit fingerprints for non-criminal justice purposes must be fingerprinted by a licensed Illinois live scan vendor or registered law enforcement agency authorized to submit for Conceal Carry purposes. A list of licensed live scan fingerprint vendors is available at the following link:

https://www.idfpr.com/LicenseLookUp/fingerprintlist.asp

This list is all inclusive; accordingly, any vendor not on this list is not a Licensed Illinois Livescan Vendor. Prints from non-licensed vendors will not be accepted.
Can I go to a police department to be fingerprinted?
You can go to a local police departments if they have registered and become a licensed Livescan vendor. Additionally, the Illinois State Police is working to adopt a process by which local agencies can choose to be registered to accept fingerprints for FCCA License applicants.
I had my fingerprints taken for a previous job, can I use the same TCN for my Concealed Carry application?
No. New fingerprints must be submitted with the ISP form.
Does my Concealed Carry firearms instructor application need to be notarized?
Yes. The signature form must be completed, signed, and notarized by a Notary Public.
On the instructor application, it asks for my business name, why?
Some instructors have indicated they believe applicants will be looking for business names on the registry rather than just instructor names, which may be less familiar. This field was added to make finding an instructor easier. There is no requirement that the field be completed if the individual instructor is not associated with a business.
On the instructor application it asks for my e-mail address, can I use a web address instead?
No, only an e-mail address will be accepted. This field was added to make finding an instructor easier.
On the instructor application, it asks for the date I became certified, why? And, what do I put if I do not know?
The date is requested for confirming certification. If you do not know the certification date but rather have an expiration date, you will have the option to include it instead. Either a certification date or an expiration date will be required.
Can anyone who has taken any class become an instructor?
No. Only persons who have a valid firearm instructor certification as required by the Act can become an approved instructor.
What are the qualifications to become a Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor?
A person seeking to become a certified Illinois Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor shall:
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a legal resident of the United States and qualified for a Concealed Carry License in Illinois
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED certificate
  • Have at least one of the following valid firearms instructor certifications:
    • Certification from a law enforcement agency
    • Certification from a firearm instructor course offered by a state or federal governmental agency
    • Certification from a firearm instructor course offered by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board
    • Certification from an entity approved by the Illinois State Police that offers firearm instructor education and training in the use and safety of firearms
Can out of state residents become a Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor?
Yes. The Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act, 430 ILCS 66/80 sets forth the qualifications to be a firearms instructor. The Act has been amended to remove the requirement that out of state instructor applicants be eligible for a FOID card. The ISP is aware of the conflict between the FCCA amendments and the Administrative rules. The ISP is working to address the discrepancy so that out of state residents who are approved as an FCCA Instructor are exempt from the requirement they obtain an Illinois FCCL.
Upon submitting, how do I know ISP received my application and how will I be informed whether I have been approved?
Upon hitting "Submit" you should have received a confirmation page. Once the ISP makes a decision regarding your application, you will be notified by letter via U.S. Mail.
When will ISP begin posting a registry of approved instructors on its website?
The ISP has posted a registry of approved instructors on its website and will add additional instructors as they are vetted through the background process and approved.
Are individuals with physical disabilities eligible to apply for and receive concealed carry licenses?
Yes. All applicants are subject to the same qualification standards.

Specifically, all applicants must complete the applicable training as specified in 430 ILCS 66/75. Pursuant to Section 75(e) instructors are not required to issue training certificates to any applicant who: (a) does not follow the orders of the certified firearms instructor, (b) in the judgement of the certified instructor handles a firearm in a manner that poses a danger to the applicant or to others or (c) during the range firing portion of testing fails to hit the target with 70% of the rounds fired.

The statute and rules provide objective standards to be applied by the instructors. The Illinois State Police does not condone discrimination on the basis of a physical disability.
Statistics
What were the Concealed Carry statistics for 2014?
Training
Where can citizens obtain firearms training?
On August 30, 2013, the ISP began approval of certified firearms instructors and firearm training courses. A registry of approved instructors and list of approved courses is available on the ISP webpage and will be updated as additional instructors are approved. Only approved firearms instructors are allowed to teach approved firearms training courses. The statute expressly prohibits anyone other than an approved firearms instructor from teaching an approved firearms training course. This rule applies even if there is an approved firearms instructor present. For more information see 430 ILCS 66/80.
What does the firearms training course consist of?
A 16 hour training course must, at a minimum, cover the following topics:

  1. Firearms Safety - a minimum of 1 hour;
  2. Basic Principles of Marksmanship - a minimum of 1 hour;
  3. Care, Cleaning, Loading and Unloading of a Concealable Firearm - a minimum of 1 hour;
  4. All Applicable State and Federal Laws Relating to the Ownership, Storage, Carry and Transportation of a Firearm (including but not limited to the appropriate and lawful interaction with law enforcement while transporting or carrying a concealed firearm) - a minimum of 2 hours; and
  5. Weapons Handling - a minimum of 1 range hour.
    All applicants must pass a live fire exercise with a concealable firearm consisting of:
    1. A minimum of 30 rounds
    2. 10 rounds from a distance of 5 yards, 10 rounds from a distance of 7 yards, and 10 rounds from a distance of 10 yards at a B-27 silhouette target approved by the ISP.
Is anyone exempt from the training requirements in the Act?
Yes, the exemptions are set by statute and cannot be expanded upon by the ISP. The statute provides that a person who has (i) qualified to carry a firearm as an active law enforcement officer, (ii) been certified as a firearms instructor by the Act or by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board, or (iii) has completed the required training and (emphasis added) has been issued a firearm control card (FCC or Tan Card) by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shall be exempt from the training requirements in the Act. The applicant must submit verification that the training requirements for the FCC Card have been completed.
Who can get credit for up to 8 hours of prior training (from either previous courses or experience)?
The eligibility requirements for receiving credit for prior training are set by statute and cannot be expanded upon by the ISP. The statute provides that active, retired, and honorably discharged members of the United States Armed Forces shall be considered to have completed 8 hours of the 16 hour training requirement. Applicants who have completed a training course that is approved by the Department and recognized under the laws of another state may get up to 8 hours of training toward the 16 hour training requirement. Click on the link to view approved courses.

https://www.isp.state.il.us/appriss/ccw/CCWPriorTrainingCredit.pdf

What information/documentation will current military personnel or veterans need to provide to receive credit for 8 hours of training?
Current military personnel will need to provide documentation identifying the holder as an active member of the US Armed Forces (CAC or DD Form 2 ID cards in green, blue, or red, for instance). Veterans will need to provide a copy of their DD-214 or NGB 22.
Who decides whether to give credit for prior training and how much to give?
The Department and certified firearms instructors shall recognize up to 8 hours of training already completed toward the 16 hour training requirement. Pursuant to the discretion granted within the statute regarding the proficiency of trainees, instructors must verify the prior training and can, within their discretion, determine the need for further training on a case by case basis. The Department has provided a list of approved curriculum to guide individual instructors with this decision. Two different 4 hour classes from the list of approved curriculum may be combined for up to 8 hours of prior training credit.
If a person receives prior training credit, what are they required to take in addition to fulfill the 16 hour training requirement under the Act?
Any remaining hours that the applicant completes must at least cover applicable State and Federal Laws Relating to the Ownership, Storage, Carry and Transportation of a Firearm Instruction as well as Weapons Handling as defined in the statute and administrative rules. The Instructor shall verify the aggregate number of hours for which the applicant provided proof of instruction in Firearms Safety, Basic Principles of Marksmanship, and Care, Cleaning, Loading and Unloading of a Concealable Firearm, based upon a list provided by the Department of accepted training courses, and provide the necessary additional hours of training to equal 16. Applicants must meet the minimums set out in the 16 hour curriculum. The instructor will need to assess and verify the areas on which the applicant was previously trained and modify the blocks of instruction in sections 1, 2, and 3 to cover the remaining requirements. Sections 4 and 5 should remain unaltered.
Will the Department of Natural Resources' hunter safety classes be approved training?
Yes, the instructor has the ability to apply 4 hours of credit for the hunter safety class.
Can an applicant take part of their hours from one instructor and additional hours from another instructor?
Yes, as long as all of the training was based upon approved curriculum and they cover all of the subjects required by the 16 hour curriculum.
Is everyone required to go through exactly the same (or a cookie cutter) program or do the instructors have any discretion to teach based upon skill level?
The ISP encourages the instructors to teach to proficiency. Minimum hours of instruction have been included as a guide to ensure proficiency; however, the exact make-up of the training will be at the discretion of the individual instructors.
What date should I put on the student certificate for date of expiration?
For now, put "N/A". This component is being removed from current forms.
Why are time lines established in the ISP rules regarding the training required?
The time lines established are geared toward expert shooters. The minimum hours set herein have been determined to be sufficient for the experienced shooter and shall be adjusted by the approved instructor based upon the skill level of those to be trained to ensure proficiency by all upon the completion of the required training component.
Do applicants have to own their own equipment before they can take a training class?
Not necessarily, equipment requirements will be set by approved instructors.