Chicago Handgun Ban Law

Until recently, Illinois was unique among states because of the number of communities with handgun bans. Until June 2010, Chicago did not allow the registration of handguns, which had the effect of outlawing their possession, unless they were grandfathered in by being registered before April 16, 1982.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Reviews: Chicago Handgun Ban Law

The original Chicago Handgun Ban Law banned the possession, retail sales, and private sales and/or transfers of handguns and also banned the sale and/or transfer of certain types of handgun ammunition. It also required that all other guns legally possessed be registered.

Outlying areas, Morton Grove, Evanston, Wilmette, and Oak Park also had banned handgun possession, while Deerfield, Elk Grove Village, Evanston, Forest Park, Highland Park, Morton Grove, Niles, Northbrook, Oak Park, River Grove, Westmont and Wilmette banned the sale or transfer of handguns.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Reviews: U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

The status of those communities’ various handgun ordinances had been uncertain since June 2008, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller.

In the months following the Heller decision, handgun bans were repealed in the suburbs of Wilmette, Morton Grove, Evanston, and Winnetka, but Chicago and Oak Park had fought in court to keep their current laws.

After reviewing Chicago’s handgun ban in the case of McDonald v. Chicago, in June 2010, the Supreme Court deemed that both the handgun bans of Chicago and Oak Park to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that Americans have the right to have handguns for self-defense. The ruling made the city’s 28-year-old gun ban unenforceable.

Chicago Lawyer Reviews: Results of Supreme Court Ruling

In July 2010 a new Chicago city ordinance took effect that allows limited handgun possession after obtaining a permit from the police and passing a firearms training course and requiring handgun registration.

In July 2010 Oak Park amended its town ordinance to allow handgun possession in one’s home and business therefore leaving no remaining town in Illinois to completely ban handguns.

The new ordinance allows handgun ownership in Chicago but establishes strict guidelines about who can apply for a permit. It prohibits gun shops within city limits and requires potential handgun owners to register their guns with the Chicago Police Department. In addition, it requires handgun owners to have both a city permit and a state firearms identification card. Chicago officials have said this is the strictest handgun regulation in the country.

The new ordinance also addresses where handguns can be stored, saying that home storage does not include a garage, front porch, or yard. Other excluded sites for storage are hotels, dorms, and group living facilities. For transport outside the home, guns would need to be broken down and not trigger ready.

Chicago Lawyer Reviews: Additional Firearms Bans

Cook County has banned assault weapons and magazines that can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. Other municipalities have also enacted various firearm restrictions. The lack of preemption makes it difficult to travel throughout Illinois with a firearm while being sure that no laws are being broken.


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