Did you apply for your FOID card or Concealed Carry License renewal but your application has been under review for weeks or even months now past the expiration date?

Well you are not alone. The Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau website has been flooded in the past few months with Illinois Concealed Carry renewal applications. And unfortunately because of this, and the fact that their processing office is extremely limited in staffing, ALL applications are being delayed. Many renewals are taking months to process, and you cannot apply until 90 days before expiration for a concealed carry card, or 60 days before expiration for a FOID card; so there are many thousands of “under review” expired licenses. Can you carry?

Here is the text of the law:

(430 ILCS 66/70)
Sec. 70. (c) A license is invalid upon expiration of the license, unless the licensee has submitted an application to renew the license, and the applicant is otherwise eligible to possess a license under this Act.

So under the law, if you are eligible to hold a license and have submitted your renewal application successfully, your license IS VALID.

Sec. 70 (a) sets forth the revocation criteria:

A license issued or renewed under this Act shall be revoked if, at any time, the licensee is found to be ineligible for a license under this Act or the licensee no longer meets the eligibility requirements of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act.

So if you are FOID eligible, have applied for your CCL renewal and NOT been denied, the law states that your license IS VALID.

What If I Get Pulled Over or Detained/Arrested While Carrying?

To be honest we don’t really know what the answer is here. We have heard anecdotal reports that the license will show “ACTIVE” in LEADS, but not all law enforcement officers are LEADS certified. We do not know if you’re pulled over out of state, in a state that recognizes the Illinois CCL, how would the officer determine that you do have a valid CCL when it shows expired on the card. It is conceivable that you could be arrested for carrying with an expired license, but if you meet the Sec. 70 criteria and have applied for renewal, it would seem charges are unlikely to be brought against you. So you may beat the rap, but not the ride.

What Can I Do?

If your’re qualified and your renewal application is under review and you wish to carry a concealed firearm, we suggest carrying your Application Summary (pictured above) and a copy of Sec 70 printed out with you at all times. We’ve not heard of any arrests, or other issues, for an “under review” carry but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

The best thing you can do is to contact your Illinois State Legislator. Tell him or her:

  1. This is a problem you are very concerned about.
  2. The ISP needs to publish guidance for both law enforcement and CCW holders referencing that their license is valid if qualified and under review.
  3. Oppose the “Aurora Package” of gun control laws that Rep. WIllis is pushing: increasing workload for the Illinois State Police is only going to worsen this bottleneck.

You can find the contact information for your state Rep or Senator here.

You haven’t taken your 3hr renewal class yet but your license expires soon?

We’re here to help: Click here for upcoming Illinois Concealed Carry License renewal classes.

And if you are looking for help through the CCL renewal process you can click here for a helpful “How To” guide.