Illinois and federal laws restrict citizens from carrying firearms in certain locations. It is important to understand these provisions in order to avoid getting ticketed or otherwise penalized for having a firearm in a place where they are prohibited.
Before carrying a gun, make sure to have an up to date concealed carry permit as well as an FOID card. Carrying firearms without these items is prohibited in every location besides one’s home and business.
Firearms are prohibited within a personal vehicle and cannot be concealed on one’s person without a permit and FOID card. Open carry laws are not recognized in the state of Illinois.
1. Government Buildings
Generally, any building or facility that is funded partially or fully by government funding have firearm prohibitions. This includes locations such as courthouses, administrative or other local government buildings, libraries, jails and detention centers.
It also includes public transportation that uses government funding and at fairs, festivals, parades, or other public events funded by the government. Public parks and playgrounds are also generally funded by the government, and as such do not allow firearms.
2. Education Facilities
Firearms are not allowed on school campuses, including primary school (grades K-12) and college campuses.
They are also prohibited at childcare facilities and any common areas controlled by such facilities, such as walkways, parks, and libraries open to the public. This restriction extends to any remote school centers, school busses, playgrounds, or off-campus school events.
3. Areas with Large Crowds
Firearms are allowed in some densely populated public areas, such as convention centers which do not specifically prohibit them. To be safe, contact the company providing the event or view the website of the venue to determine whether concealed carry is permitted.
Firearms are prohibited in airports and sporting locations such as a stadium, arena, or at a sporting event. They are also not allowed in museums, zoos, and amusement parks. Likewise, racetracks and off-track betting locations prohibit the carrying of firearms.
4. Healthcare Facilities
To protect patients, firearms are not allowed in hospitals, nursing homes and mental health care facilities. Smaller healthcare locations, such as specialists’ offices or dental care facilities may allow firearms at their discretion, but one should always check before carrying in such locations.
5. Locations that Serve Alcohol
By law, bars and clubs (or any location that generates half of its revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages) must prohibit firearms. These prohibitions are a matter of public welfare, as the use of alcohol can make some individuals more prone to violent acts or altercations.
Restaurants and other areas that serve alcohol, but do not rely on alcohol sales for the bulk of its income, may allow firearms. Whether they are allowed is at the discretion of the business owner.
6. Miscellaneous Locations
Some locations which do not fall into specific categories such as those listed above also prohibit firearms. For example, firearms are not allowed at nuclear power plants nor their parking lots. Also, the Cook County Forest Preserve does not allow firearms.
7. Private Businesses
Any owner of a private business has the right to prohibit firearms. In order to enforce the restriction, the business must display a sign that informs patrons that the restriction is in place.
A homeowner or renter can prohibit firearms on their property. No signage is required, and the homeowner has the right to ask the carrier to leave the property or keep their gun outside of the home.
What To Do About Firearm Restrictions
In the event that a location does not permit conceal and carry even with a license, do not argue with the owner or try to bring the gun in undetected.
With the exception of nuclear power plants, keep the firearm in the vehicle. Place it in the trunk or glove compartment where it is out of view to those outside of the vehicle.
The restrictions for carrying firearms apply to those who are residents of Chicago as well as business travelers or tourists.
Firearms can be carried without an FOID card if the firearm is unloaded and in a case, the firearm is within a permitted hunting area with an appropriate hunting license, within a target range, if the owner is licensed to carry a firearm in their state of residence, or at a gun show that is recognized by the Department of State Police.
Carrying a firearm in a location where they are prohibited is a Class B misdemeanor, and a subsequent violation is a Class A misdemeanor. Being charged with this offense can result in a suspended or revoked license, as well as fees and jail time.
Call Abdallah Law Today
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime involving the carrying of a firearm, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.
Contact us today at 312-854-2677 for a free consultation so we may review your case and defend your right to carry.