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Where You Can and Cannot Legally Carry a Concealed Firearm in Illinois

Illinois became the last state to pass concealed carry legislation in 2013 with the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. This brought Illinois in line with every other state by allowing eligible residents to carry a concealed handgun in public. However, there are still many restrictions on where concealed firearms can be legally carried in the state. This post will explain the key locations and establishments that are off-limits for concealed carry in Illinois.


One of the most obvious places where concealed carry is prohibited is primary and secondary schools in Illinois. The law bans concealed firearms on school property, including parking lots, sports facilities, and playgrounds. This restriction applies to public and private K-12 schools. However, concealed carry may be permitted within a vehicle parked on school property if the gun remains locked inside the vehicle and out of sight.

Government Buildings

Most government facilities in Illinois prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms, including city halls, courthouses, police stations, prisons, museums, libraries, etc. Government offices must post 4”x6” signs indicating weapons are prohibited according to state law. Carry is also generally banned inside federal government buildings.

Parks and Playgrounds

Public parks, athletic fields, playgrounds, forest preserves, wildlife refuges, and nature preserves in Illinois are off-limits for concealed carry, unless firearms are left unloaded and locked in a case. This includes popular parks like Millennium Park in Chicago. Unincorporated areas may have different rules in some counties.

Public Transportation

Concealed carry is prohibited on public transportation in Illinois. This means handguns cannot be carried on buses, trains, taxis, rideshares, airplanes, etc. The ban includes transit facilities like train and bus stations. However, firearms can be transported in checked luggage at airports following TSA regulations.

Private Property and Businesses

While concealed carry is allowed in most public places in Illinois, private property owners and businesses can prohibit firearms on their premises by posting 4”x6” no-gun signs. Common places that ban concealed carry include bars, restaurants, shops, movie theaters, concert venues, sports stadiums, hospitals, and more. Look for signs at building entrances.


Illinois universities generally ban concealed firearms, though policies can vary between public and private institutions. The University of Illinois system, for example, prohibits concealed carry on all campuses and facilities owned by the university. Always check policies before carrying a concealed handgun on a college campus.

Restricted Areas in Chicago

Chicago has additional restrictions on concealed carry under municipal ordinances. Firearms are banned within 100 feet of demonstrations and protests in public places. Concealed carry is also restricted along Chicago’s lakefront trail and adjacent parks. And firearms are prohibited at Chicago airports.

In summary, Illinois residents must be aware of the many restricted locations where concealed carry is not allowed, even with a valid permit. These include schools, government buildings, public parks, mass transit, private businesses posting bans, universities, and certain public areas in Chicago. Responsible concealed carriers should always know the law and respect no-gun zone policies. For more information on legal concealed carry in Illinois, sign up for one of our concealed carry certification classes.