Waiting Period To Purchase a Firearm in Illinois

In Illinois, a waiting period is required to purchase a firearm in Illinois. That waiting period was previously 24 hours for a long gun and 72 hours for a hand gun.  However as of January 1st, 2019, the waiting period is now 72 hours for both long guns and hand guns. This waiting period applies if you buy a firearm from a FFL in Illinois, or through a private party.  (Se also: How to Sell a Gun in Illinois).

(720 ILCS 5/24-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 24-3)
Sec. 24-3. Unlawful sale or delivery of firearms.
(A) A person commits the offense of unlawful sale or delivery of firearms when he or she knowingly does any of the following:

(g) Delivers any firearm, incidental to a sale, without withholding delivery of the firearm for at least 72 hours after application for its purchase has been made, or delivers a stun gun or taser, incidental to a sale, without withholding delivery of the stun gun or taser for at least 24 hours after application for its purchase has been made.

A common question is, “When does the waiting period begin to purchase a firearm in Illinois?”

The answer is, when the agreement has been made. Some guidelines below, are copied from the Illinois State Police Website for Licensed Firearm Dealers. These guidelines will answer most questions about the Waiting Period to Purchase a Firearm in Illinois.

  • When a customer has a gun shipped from another FFL or out of state, when does the waiting period begin? The waiting period starts when the agreement is reached with the seller. It need not be the FFL making the transfer of the firearm. If the firearm was paid for and/or shipped from another FFL, the waiting period began prior to when the FFL conducting the transfer received the firearm.
  • Can a customer call up and order a firearm over the phone, then come in and pick up the firearm later? The waiting period begins when the buyer and seller reach an agreement. FFLs need to document how the waiting period was observed. The documentation needs to be verifiable and consistent with each purchaser.
  • What happens if a customer orders a firearm, and when he comes into pick it up, ISP issues something other than an approval on the FTIP? The actual transfer of the firearm cannot take place until there is an approval from the FTIP system, regardless of when the agreement was reached. If the FFL receives a transaction number, they cannot complete the transfer until they receive an approval.
  • Do FFLs have to wait when transferring firearms between FFLs? There is no waiting period between retail FFLs. And Curio and Relic (C&R) FFLs are exempt from the waiting period for those firearms that appear on the ATF&E C&R list and fall under the C&R license.





Images copied from Mr Colion Noir.



Thomas Kral

Thomas Kral is an avid gun rights advocate being involved in the movement in Illinois since 2012 and became one of the very first Concealed Carry instructors to be certified by the Illinois State Police in 2013.

Thomas is also a proud father and husband, having said, "The only things more important than 2nd Amendment issues and gun rights are my wife and kids."

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