Now that you’re allowed to carry a concealed weapon in Chicago, it might be a good idea to get your criminal record expunged if you want to get a permit.
While an arrest record doesn’t necessarily preclude you from being approved for a concealed carry permit, it could have an effect on whether law enforcement agencies object to you having one.
Eligibility for Concealed Carry Permits in Illinois
According to the Illinois State Police,
"If an applicant has 5 or more arrests for any reason, that have been entered into the Criminal History Records Information (CHRI) System, within the 7 years preceding the date of application for a license, or has 3 or more arrests within the 7 years preceding the date of application for a license for any combination of gang-related offenses, the Department shall object and submit the applicant’s arrest record, the application materials, and any additional information submitted by a law enforcement agency to the Board."
That means you could be denied a concealed carry permit based on old arrests that have nothing to do with your character or who you are today.
Requirements for a Concealed Carry Permit in Illinois
Once you have your prior arrests cleared from your record, you still need to meet the state’s other requirements. Those requirements include:
- 16 hours of concealed carry training provided by an ISP-approved instructor, as well as an electric copy of the training certificates
- An Illinois digital ID
- A driver’s license or state ID card
- A valid FOID card
- An electronic head-and-shoulder photograph taken within the previous 30 days
- Documentation for the last 10 years of your residence history
If the approving law enforcement agency deems that you have too many prior arrests on your record, or if they find another reason to object to your application, you could be denied. (The $150 application fee is non-refundable.)
Talking to a Lawyer About Expungement
If you have arrests on your record, it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney about expungement. It could make the difference in whether you’re approved for a concealed carry permit as well as provide you with several other benefits.