Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country, but it has one of the highest crime rates. Chicago has long been known as a place where gun violence is rampant, and that is why there are many restrictions on owning a gun in the city. Chicago gun laws have enormous penalties for violating them. Here is an overview of Chicago’s gun laws and how you can obtain licenses and permits in Illinois.
Firearm safety rules
Firstly, you have to treat all kinds as loaded, and this way, you can escape many dangers. If someone hands over a gun and trusts him, you still have to check everything yourself. Another thing is never carrying a firearm that you are familiar with.
Secondly, no matter what, you have to point your firearm in a safe direction all the time. You never point it at something if you do not want to destroy it, even if the safety is on. If you point the barrel in the wrong direction, it can easily cause severe injuries or damage to equipment.
Thirdly, you have to keep your finger outside the trigger guard until your sights are on target and decided to shoot. There are many important reasons for this, but the main one is that you can avoid hitting someone by mistake because of your poor aim.
Fourthly, you have to make sure that you are ready to face everything that happens after shooting. Your bullet might not entirely stop at the target, and it can impact something else than your target.
Now that we know some basic firearm safety rules, we can proceed to Illinois’ firearm licensing and permitting process.
FOID card is the key
A FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card is a must to buy a gun or ammunition in Illinois. You have to be 21 years old and a resident of Illinois to get this card. If you are below 21, your guardian can sponsor your application as long as the guardian is qualified for a FOID card. Your application for a FOID can be denied if you are a convicted felony, addicted to narcotics. Usually, a FOID card takes 30 days to reach your hand.
If they deny your application for some reason, they will mention it, and you can appeal the decision to the Director of the Illinois State Police. A FOID card has a validity of 10 years, and then you have to renew it.
You will always need a FOID before purchasing a gun, but you can use a firearm without a FOID in some exceptional cases. A person with a FOID can loan a firearm to someone who does not have a FOID. In that case, the weapon has to be used under the supervision of the FOID owner.
Buying firearm and ammunition
Buying a firearm is a big decision for every first-timer. Most people even freeze at this stage even after getting a FOID card. Licensed gun stores are recommended if you are buying for the first time. You can buy it privately when you become experienced.
You have to be 21 years old to buy handguns and 18 years old to purchase rifles or shotguns. Besides, you have to provide your state ID and FOID and have a background check done by a licensed firearms dealer.
Purchasing a gun is not like buying groceries from a super shop. Here, you have to wait 24 to 72 hours even after completing the payment.
Ammunition purchasing is quite similar. You have to make sure that you buy the right caliber ammo for your firearm.
Illinois firearm laws
Being a proud supporter of your Second Amendment right to defend yourself, you must respect state laws. In Illinois, openly carrying firearms is not allowed. You can carry a concealed handgun, but that requires an additional license.
Moreover, you have to make sure that you know where to carry firearms and where not. You can always call Illinois State Police before proceeding if you are confused.
Finally, owning a firearm is a serious responsibility. It is recommended that both new and experienced firearm owners seek training continuously whenever possible.