In 2013, Illinois was the last state to enact a Concealed Carry law. But that doesn’t mean you can bring your gun just anywhere, even with a Concealed Carry license.

Under the Concealed Carry Act 430 ILCS 66/65: Prohibited Areas, you may not bring your firearm into the following places:

1) The building, real property or parking area for an elementary or secondary school, preschool or child care facility.

2) Any facilities under the control of a public or private community college, college or university.

3) Any buildings or parking areas under the government control including the legislative, executive and judicial branches as well as local government facilities, juvenile detention centers, prisons, jails and courthouses.

4) Any public or private hospital, mental health facility or nursing home.

5) Any bus, train or other form of public transportation as well as any facilities under control of that public transportation entity, for example, a train station or parking area.

6) Any place serving alcohol if more than 50% of gross receipts over the past three months is from the sale of alcohol.

7) Any public gathering requiring a governmental permit such as a parade.or any gathering which required a Special Event Retailer’s License.

8) Public park or athletic facility except on a bike path if only part of the path goes through the public park. You also may have a gun in a designated hunting area or on a bike path or trail in an area owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

9) Play areas or playgrounds.

10) Cook County Forest Preserve property

11) Gaming facilities, sports stadiums or arenas.

12) Where firearms are barred by federal law.

13) Libraries, airports, amusement parks, zoos, museums or nuclear energy facilities.

14) Private property owners may prohibit firearms but must clearly and conspicuously post a standardized sign.

If you violate the concealed carry law, you may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. For later offenses, you can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year and a $2,500 fine. If you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the penalties increase to a Class A Misdemeanor for the first two offenses and a Class 4 felony, punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison, for later offenses.

If you are charged with this or another offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense. Did the police have probable cause to stop you? Did the owner of the private business post the required sign? Did the place serving alcohol get less than 50% of its gross receipts from alcohol sales? Were you in the process of properly stowing your gun into a locked container within your car as permitted under the law?

Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you can on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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