Illinois generally makes it unlawful for a person to store or leave their firearm unlocked and accessible to a minor under the age of 14 if the person knows or has reason to believe that the minor is likely to gain access to the firearm and the minor causes death or great bodily harm with that firearm.1 This provision does not apply if the firearm is: 1) secured by a device, other than the firearm safety, designed to render the firearm temporarily inoperable; 2) placed in a securely locked box or container; or 3) placed in some other location that a reasonable person would believe to be secured from a minor under the age of 14, or (4) if the minor is a FOID Card holder.2 The prohibition also is inapplicable to any firearm obtained by a minor because of an unlawful entry of the premises by the minor or another person, or if the minor gains access to a firearm and uses it in a lawful act of self-defense or defense of another.3
When a minor under the age of 21 legally acquires a FOID card by obtaining the permission of a parent or guardian, that parent or guardian becomes liable for civil claims for damages resulting from the minor’s use of firearms or ammunition.4
See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-9(a).
- 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-9(c).
- 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/4(c).