How to Buy a Firearm
As long as you are 21 years of age, have completed the training course, have a valid FOID card (if you are an Illinois resident), and you meet qualifications (ie: no restrictions), you are eligible to purchase a firearm.
• The waiting period to take possession after purchasing a firearm is 72 hours for a handgun, and 24 hours for a rifle or shotgun.
• If you purchase a firearm from a private seller, the seller must verify your FOID card and keep a record of the sale for at least 10 years.
• If you purchase a firearm from a gun show, the seller at the gun show will perform an automated dial-up check with the State Police to verify that your FOID is valid and the State Police will redo a background check.
When you purchase a pistol from a dealer, you would need to ensure that you have your FOID card and your Illinois Driver’s License or State ID card. You must show your FOID card in order to purchase or handle a pistol at a store.
Illinois law requires a 24 our waiting period for long guns and 72 hours for handguns. These waiting periods are held to the minute, so if your purchase receipt says the release time is May 10, 2016 at 4:15 PM, you must wait until that time.
Federal Laws require that a BAFTE form 4473 for each sale made to a person who does not have a Federal Firearms License (FFL). This form contains information about the person who is buying a firearm, the Driver’s License number and expiration date, the FOID number and expiration date, and the description of the firearms(s) being purchased. In addition, GAT Guns requires that you fill out a “Hold Harmless Agreement.” The whole process requires about 15-20 minutes of your time, so before you buy a pistol, you may want to grab a coffee.
Depending on the store, you may also receive a brief demonstration of the operation of the firearm.
**When you purchase a pistol, make sure to keep the receipt for at least 10 years.
Purchasing from a Gun Show:
If you are thinking of purchasing a pistol at a gun show, the sellers at the gun show would need to conduct a background check on your file, in order to determine whether you’re able to purchase a pistol.
A Gun show is defined as:
An event or function:
1) at which the sale and transfer of firearms is the regular and normal course of business an where 50 or more firearms are displayed, offered, or exhibited for sale, transfer, or exchange; or
2) at which not less than 10 gun show vendors display, offer, or exhibit for sale, sell, transfer, or exchange firearms.
** A gun show includes the ENTIRE premises provided for the event, including parking areas.
Non-residents of Illinois cannot purchase handguns at gun shows, but may buy rifles or shotguns and ammunition for rifles or shotguns if they are residents of Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, or Kentucky, or are residents of another state with a valid non-resident hunting license.
If you are purchasing a pistol from an unlicensed private seller, there are a few things you would need to do:
If you do not have a license, the seller will need to contact the Department of State Police (DSP) with your FOID card number (to confirm the validity of your card) and the seller would need to wait for the approval of the DSP before transferring the pistol to you. Approvals issued by the DSP for the purchase of the firearm are valid for 30 days.
Exceptions to this rule:
1) Transfers as a bona fide gift to the transferor’s husband, wife, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, brother, sister, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-aw, or daughter-in-law
2) Transfers that occur at a federally licensed firearm dealer’s place of business if the licensed dealer conducts a background check on the prospective recipient of the firearm and follows all other applicable federal, state, and local laws as if he or she were the transferor of the firearm.