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Can we get a license to carry as an Illinois resident?

Yes, we can.

It's just not valid (currently) in Illinois.

Handguns protect innocent children from predators.

Can I get a license to carry a firearm for personal defense? Can I do this as an Illinois resident?

As our new President Barack Obama would say, "Si, se puede."

Yes, we can!

Many states issue right-to-carry licenses to non-residents and these licenses are recognized, via a legal principle known as reciprocity, by the issuing state as well as many other states.

But these licenses are not valid to carry in Illinois.

Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states in the Union that do not recognize their residents' right to carry a loaded firearm on their person as a means to defend themselves from violent attack.

Don't let that discourage you. One of these licenses will allow you to keep your family safe while on vacation out-of-state and simplify firearm transportation issues in the states where the licenses are valid. There are many states which issue these non-resident permits. For an exhaustive list of each and every issuing state, visit Handgunlaw.us or similar sites on the Internet. Here's some information about Florida's permit which is particularly popular here in Illinois.


Application is available here.

  • A seven-year license now (effective summer 2008).
  • Approximately $117 application fee (non-refundable).
  • Typically issued in 6- to 12-weeks.
  • Fingerprints are required
  • There is a training requirement.
  • Valid in almost 30 states, including neighboring states Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana -- and, of course, Florida (a great place to vacation!).
So, you got your license.

If you are going to carry after you've received your license from an issuing authority, be sure you follow the rules and regulations. We discuss these in the NRA Personal Protection course, but here are the three top things you need to know before strapping on your personal defense device.

  1. Is my permit valid in this or that state where I'm going? This one is usually pretty simple.
  2. What are the prohibited locations? In some states, dinner at nice restaurants (that serve alcohol) is verboten. Others it is okay. (Others still, you must take off your jacket and "open carry" the sidearm to be legal.) Know the prohibited locations and the consequences.
  3. What are the disclosure requirements? Some states, like Ohio, require you to notify any police officer you come in contact with - immediately (as in the first thing out of your mouth) - that you have a permit and you have your firearm on your person. Others, like Indiana, don't have this requirement.


Standard Disclaimer

The webmaster here is not a lawyer, nor does he play one on TV. Do your own research at Handgunlaw.us or similar websites (which have links to the individual states so you may authenticate their research). It is ultimately your bacon on the line, so be sure you know and understand the rules before you begin to carry while visiting other states.

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