Getting started as a responsible, law abiding firearm owner in Illinois is a simple process, as this article shows.
Some people become gun owners so that they can enjoy the excellent hobbies of target practice and/or gun collecting. Others, such as this author, own guns for self defense against todays increasingly violent criminals. Still other people have already been victimized by criminals, and become gun owners so that it won’t happen again. Another reason to become a gun owners is to gain a better understanding of the rather politically charged issue of gun rights, so as to avoid being ignorant of the facts. Regardless of your reasons for becoming a gun owner in Illinois, this article is designed to provide a brief overview of the steps to becoming a lawful gun owner.
To become a gun owner, basically, you will need to get a FOID (Firearm Owners Identification Card), purchase a firearm, and possibly register your firearm with your city (some cities such as Chicago require registration, while the vast majority of cities in Illinois do not require registration).
1. Get a FOID Card (Firearm Owners Identification Card).
In order to lawfully posses or purchase a firearm in Illinois, you will need a FOID card. To get one, you can download the FOID card application here. Simply fill it out and mail it to the address listed. The filing fee is $10 and your FOID is valid for 10 years. You can also go to your local firearms dealer and they can complete your FOID application for you, often for about $20.
2. Go to your local firearms dealer, and tell them you are new to guns. They will have firearms you can rent and fire on their range, along with instruction and advice. You can then make an educated decision as to which firearm is right for you, and purchase. You can also purchase online, and have the firearm shipped to your local dealer (by law, if you order online your firearm needs to be shipped to your local firearms dealer). You will also want to purchase a firearm safe or other appropriate means to ensure that your firearm is not stolen or misused. Where To Shoot can help you find a firearms range/dealer. Also verify with the gun store employee and/or your home town that the gun you’re considering isn’t banned by restrictions on handguns or so-called assault weapons.
3. If required by law, register your firearm with your city. Although the vast majority of cities in Illinois do not require registration of firearms, you should contact your city’s police department or city hall to check whether you need to register your firearm, before bringing it home.
Disclaimer: This information is designed to be helpful, but I take no responsibility for the accuracy of it and do not offer the information as legal advice. Laws may change so you should be sure to know any and all applicable laws. Read the full disclaimer here.