Members: Be Careful of Illinois

Our U.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield multi-state members should be careful of visiting the state of Illinois. Illinois law is unique in that it does not allow individuals from other states to carry firearms there even if they have a permit from their home state. Instead, non-residents who wish to carry concealed firearms in Illinois must get an Illinois permit.

Also, according to the Illinois State Police website, “only residents of states that have laws related to firearm ownership, possession and carrying that are substantially similar to the requirements to obtain a license (in Illinois) under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act are eligible.”

According to the website, “substantially similar” means the comparable state:

* Regulates who can carry firearms;

* Prohibits people who have involuntarily been placed in a mental health facility from carrying, or who have voluntarily placed themselves in such a facility within the last five years; and

* Reports both approved and denied applicants to nationwide databases.

The Illinois State Police distributed a survey updated in May to determine which states meet those criteria.   Only four — Hawaii, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Virginia — have similar enough rules to allow their citizens to apply for Illinois permits.

Additionally, non-residents applying for an Illinois permit must pay a $300 fee compared to the in-state applicant fee of $150. The permit is good for five years.

Law Shield agrees with State Rep. Brandon Phelps, who helped get the Illinois law through the General Assembly. He said, “We need to look a little more carefully at how we’re treating people from other states. A lot of those states have good standards. They should have been granted reciprocity in Illinois.”

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