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Illinois generally prohibits people from knowingly carrying or possessing a firearm in any public place or lands within the corporate limits of a city, village or incorporated town, except on the person’s own land, in his or her own home or fixed place of business, on the land or in the legal dwelling of another person as an invitee with that person’s permission, or when invited on public lands for the purpose of the display of a firearm or lawful commerce in firearms.1 The statute does not apply to transportation of firearms that are: 1) broken down in a non-functioning state; 2) not immediately accessible; or 3) unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person with a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card.2 Various additional exceptions apply, including open carrying for hunting and target shooting.3

Regarding handguns, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, adopted in 2013, provides that an individual with a valid license to carry a concealed firearm may lawfully carry a loaded or unloaded handgun partially concealed on or about his or her person.4 Thus, while a person – whether a concealed carry licensee or not – is prohibited from knowingly carrying a fully unconcealed handgun in public, a concealed carry licensee may lawfully carry a partially exposed handgun.


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  1. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(10).[]
  2. Id.[]
  3. See 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-2(b).[]
  4. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 66/10(c)(1).[]