legality of bringing a gun into cook county, illinois (not chicago)


December 26, 2008, 06:58 PM
I am a Florida resident, but I will be staying in midlothian for quite a while. There are few gun laws here, and I know that they are rather strenuous in Illinois (cook county especially). What would I need to do to have my 9mm Springfield XDM pistol with me in the apartment that I will be renting?

Will I need to register it in Illinois? (registration is not required in florida)

Will I need to get the FOID card???



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Len S
December 26, 2008, 09:52 PM
Cook county is a bag of worms but they have not really passed anything county wide yet as far as handguns. You are fine where you will be. Check out the IL state Police site for transportation laws,basically in a case unloaded when transporting it. There is also a law that says if you use a gun in self defense IN your residence then local laws,if any, against firearms do not count.


December 27, 2008, 01:35 AM
Will I need to register it in Illinois?
IL does not register guns, neither handguns nor long guns.
IL does not have any restrictions on mag size, no restrictions on types of ammo, no AWB ban, no limits on the types/styles of guns.
There is Home Rule in IL. Some municipalities may pass firearm ordinance more restrictive than state laws. A list of those cities can be found at
On the right side of that page are a list of Home Rule municipalities that have passed firearm ordinances of some kind. Not all of those listed may be more restrictive than state law but have passed ordinances that mirror state law. Others may have passed ordinances that apply to dealers such as zoning laws.

Will I need to get the FOID card???
Only IL residents need a FOID card. If you are not going to be moving to IL and becoming a resident then you don't need a FOID card.

December 27, 2008, 01:46 AM
Most has been covered. However:

1. Make sure that your gun is in your trunk. There are two controlling laws regarding firearms transport and one mentions a trunk provision, while the other is silent about location. It's advisable to use the more restrictive one as a guidline.

2. Registering local laws with the above provided ISP link is a requirement of state law (i.e. if a law exists but has not been sent there, the local governments are breaking the law). I would be very wary of relying on this list. I know for a fact of at least two towns that are currently breaking that rule, and I can guarantee that neither of them will care if they ever found you in violation of their local laws and you claimed that you hadn't registered.

Good Luck


Lone Ranger
December 27, 2008, 05:50 PM
The weapon has to be unloaded and separate from the ammo. The weapon should be in the trunk and the ammo can be in the back seat or the glove box, as long as neither is easily accessible to load. If the ammo needs to be in the trunk it should not be in the same case as the weapon. Caution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Illinois does not recognize Conceal Carry!!!!!!!!!!! You may remove the weapon and ammo from the vehicle to the resident but I wouldn't do it openly, a case would be better. People seeing you openly moving a weapon about might call the police and another bag of worms will be opened. I would suggest that you call the local LEO and ask what their policy is regarding any ordinance concerning firearms. Can't hurt and may save you aggravation later on. Some cities/towns in Cook County don't require firearm registration as long as you have an FOID card providing you are a legal Illinois resident. The length of your stay may also have a bearing on your possession of the firearm. I also suggest that if you have any paper work for the weapon, bill of sale, registration, CC certification etc that you have it with you. Last bit of warning DO NOT BRING THE WEAPON INTO CHICAGO UNLESS IT IS TRANSPORTED PROPERLY.

December 27, 2008, 06:18 PM
The Lone Ranger is somewhat right but not completely. The ammo does not have to be separated from the gun. The ammo can be carried in the same case as the gun. You do not have to have ammo in a case. Mags can be loaded but loaded mags cannot be inserted in the guns. Empty mags can. There is no requirement that the gun/ammo be carried in the trunk. They just need to be unloaded and in a case and you'll be fine as far as IL law is concerned.
You do not need a bill of sale, etc. Nothing in IL requires you to produce such.
Go to the ISP website I provided above and then click on the Frequently Asked Questions. That will answer most questions people have. It will also cut thru a lot of the baseless hysteria some people have concerning IL laws.

December 28, 2008, 01:59 AM
I will be living in Illinois while I am going to school, but will retain Florida residency for business purposes (tax laws are MUCH better if you are a Florida resident).

I have an apartment in Midlothian, IL (which, from a link above, is not listed to have any special firearm ordinances) that I will be staying at. I will be traveling between Midlothian and Cape Coral during the time (keeping the firearm locked in a safe while I am gone). I understand that a CCW permit will not work in Illinois, since conceal carry is illegal there, so no worries about that.

I was just wondering what precautions, if any, I must take and be advised of.

Thanks for all your help,


Lone Ranger
December 28, 2008, 03:20 AM
The reason I suggested that you have a bill of sale was to just show ownership of the weapon since you are here as a student but retaining your residency in Florida. It isn't required but again might make your life easier if anything might happen, i.e. you are stopped by a LEO and the weapon is discovered, the weapon is confiscated for whatever reason or lost/stolen then recovered, how would you prove it is legally yours?

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