The City of Chicago ordinance and State of Illinois law changes regularly due to actions of the Chicago City Counsel and State Legislature.  Court rulings also impact all of the ordinances and statutes discussed on this page.

If you seek legal advice please call the office and schedule an appointment.


What firearms need to be registered?

Briefly, all.  There appear to be some exceptions to the ordinance for peace officers, certain security personnel and a few others.  If you think you fall into one of these categories you should seek legal counsel before thinking about not registering your firearm.

My FOID card is expired, can I still register a firearm?

No.  You must have a valid FOID card in order to apply for either your CFP or any firearm registration certificate.  If your FOID card expires or is revoked your CFP and any registration certificates will also automatically be revoked.  Take great pains to make sure you keep your FOID card in good standing at all time.

Once I have my firearm registered can I walk around with it?

No!  The way the City of Chicago ordinance is currently written you are only permitted to possess, have, a firearm within your dwelling.  This is a fancy -- legalize -- way of saying that you can only have the firearm in your house or apartment.  You are not permitted to carry any firearm, even if registered, in your backyard, on your porch, in your garage, or anywhere outside of your house or apartment unless it is unloaded and placed in a closed gun case.

Can I keep my registered firearm in my car?

Sorta.  State law says that one can transport a firearm in a vehicle provided that it is unloaded and in a case.  Recent court cases have come down on the side that a "case" can mean just about any closed container and not necessarily a gun case.  The City of Chicago ordinance is more specific and requires that any firearm in any vehicle must be registered, unloaded, not immediately accessible, and in a gun case.  This means that when any firearm is in a vehicle if should be unloaded and in a case designed to hold a gun.  A piece of tupperware is not going to cut-it.

Can I register my handgun with a high-capacity magazine?

Maybe, we don't know yet.  What we do know is that the Chicago ordinance prohibits the registration of any handgun with a magazine capacity over 12 rounds.  We'll see how the city handles the registration of a handgun that can take a 13+ round magazine with a magazine limited to 12 rounds.

Can I keep multiple registered firearms in my house?

Sorta.  You can only have one firearm operational in the house for each person in the house with a valid CFP.  So if you have two people in the house with valid CFP's then you may have two operational registered firearms in the house at the same time.  Any other, of course registered, firearms must be broken down, trigger locked, or otherwise put into a non-functioning state.  Note, this section of the ordinance appears to apply even if the firearms are in a locked gun safe.

Do I have to do anything special because I have kids in the house?

Yes!  The ordinance provides that if must secure both firearms and ammunition from minors.  Adults are held responsible should a minor get access to any firearm.

Can I use a laser sight?

No.  Laser sights are banned, period.  Mere possession of a laser sight, on or off of a firearm, is grounds for immediate revocation and permanent ban of your CFP.

How about a silencer or muffler?

No.  Silencers, mufflers, and any firearm that has a thread barrel are all banned under the ordinance.  And just like a laser sight, mere possession of a silencer is grounds for a permanent ban from ever getting a CFP.

My registered firearm was sold, lost, or stolen, what should I do?

According to the ordinance you have 48 hours to report a firearm that has been sold and 72 hours to report a firearm that has been stolen.

What are the penalties for violating the ordinance?

The penalties are more serious than under the previous ordinance.  There is a fine of at least $1,000 and not more than $5,000 AND must serve a term of at least 20, but not more than 90 days.  However each day in violation of the ordinance is a separate violation so fines and jail time can add up fast.

Violations should be taken seriously and legal counsel should be consulted as early in the process as possible.

What should I do if I have other questions or get in trouble?

Owning a firearm is a serious decision.  The repercussions for violating the law are equally serious.  Adequate care must be taken by all gun owners not only to assure the safety of themselves, their family and guests but to comply with the myriad of laws surrounding gun ownership.  Questions arise and sometimes despite best efforts people slip-up on some law.

Do not take chances with your rights.  Contact competent legal counsel right away.


James A. Bosco
Law Offices of James A. Bosco
740 W Fulton Ave, #C1