Subject to narrow exceptions, Illinois generally prohibits any person under age 18 from possessing a handgun.1 State law also generally restricts people from knowingly transferring a handgun to any person under age 18.2
Illinois law places other limitations on minors’ access to firearms through its firearm licensing process. As described at greater length in the Licensing in Illinois section, Illinois law generally prohibits individuals from possessing firearms if they do not hold a valid license called a Firearm Owners Identification or FOID card.3 Illinois law also generally prohibits people from knowingly transferring a firearm to a person who does not hold a valid FOID card.4
To obtain a FOID card, an individual must generally be over 21 years of age or have the written consent of his or her parent or legal guardian to possess and acquire firearms and ammunition.5 (In the latter case, the person’s parent or legal guardian must also not be prohibited from obtaining a FOID card themselves).6 Even with parental consent, people under 21 do not qualify for a FOID card if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor (other than a traffic offense) or adjudged delinquent for other offenses.7
Federal law imposes additional age restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
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