How to Sell a Gun in Illinois: A Comprehensive Guide

Illinois has stronger gun laws when compared to other places in the United States. With some of the strictest firearms regulations in the U.S., navigating them can be a stressful task. Current laws enacted in the state are meant to deter criminals from accessing guns, but simultaneously, can make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to engage in legal gun transactions.

To avoid getting tripped up by confusing gun laws, Dunlap Gun Buyers has created this guide to explain the relevant laws for buying, selling and transferring firearms in Illinois.

The following information is compiled from the Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau and a memorandum on State Laws and Published ordinances from the Illinois Office of Attorney General to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

What Selling Options do Gun Owners Have in Illinois?

Here are a few ways gun owners can sell a firearm in a legal transaction:

  • Gun owners can sell their firearm to a local dealer. This is a good way to help ensure gun owners are complying with gun laws in Illinois for firearm sales. However, sellers may be leaving money on the table by selling for much less than the gun’s actual market value.
  • Gun owners can sell a firearm through a private transaction. Under Illinois state law, any person who is not a federally licensed firearm dealer and who desires to transfer or sell a firearm or firearms to any person who is not a federally licensed firearm dealer shall, before selling or transferring the firearms, contact the Department of State Police with the transferee’s or purchaser’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card number to determine the validity of the transferee’s or purchaser’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. The Department of State Police shall provide the seller or transferor an approval number if the purchaser’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card is valid. Approvals issued by the Department for the purchase of a firearm are valid for 30 days from the date of issue.
  • Another option if simply wanting to legally dispose of a firearm is surrendering it to local law enforcement. However, by doing this, gun owners potentially lose on hundreds or even thousands of dollars those guns could be worth in a sale.
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What are the Requirements to Purchase a Firearm in Illinois?

In order to purchase a firearm legally, the buyer must be 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns and ammunition. Buyers looking to purchase handguns must be at least 21 years old. All buyers must have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card. For more specific information on acquiring a FOID, visit

Before acquiring a firearm, check with local municipality for possible firearm ordinances. Some communities may have laws prohibiting possession of specific types of firearms and/or requiring that firearms be secured within the home. The Illinois State Police compiles these ordinances, when provided by the local municipalities, and provides them to the public via the internet at

Anyone purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473 (firearms transaction form). This form will be maintained by the dealer. A firearms purchaser must, under the permanent provisions of the Federal Brady Law, also undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check, which will be performed by the firearms dealer.

This check will indicate to the dealer whether the purchaser’s background allows for the person to complete the purchase of the firearm and notifies the Illinois State Police (ISP), Firearms Services Bureau to perform a background check in accordance with state and federal laws.

If the transaction is approved, the buyer must abide by the State of Illinois waiting period before taking possession of the firearm. The waiting period for a long gun is 24 hours and 72 hours for a handgun.

Upon taking possession of the firearm, the firearm must be unloaded and enclosed in a case to transport.

Illinois Firearm Ownership Restrictions

In 2023, Illinois adopted the Protect Illinois Communities Act. The new law signifies a renewed effort from Illinois state law makers to regulate assault weapons for the interest of public safety. The new state law restricts ownership on a variety of firearms based on features, capacities, modifications and specific models.

The newly banned firearm features and magazine capacities for firearms include the following characteristics:

  • Semi-automatic rifles with a capacity to accept detachable magazines and possess features like pistol grips, telescoping stocks, flash suppressors and more.
  • Semi-automatic rifles with fixed magazines that can accept more than 10 rounds (except certain devices compatible only with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition).
  • Semi-automatic pistols with features like threaded barrels, shrouds, flash suppressors, Magazine capacities and the ability to accept magazines outside of the pistol grip.
  • Semi-automatic shotguns with features such as pistol grips, fixed magazines with a capacity of more than 5 rounds, and the capacity to accept detachable magazines.
  • Firearms that can accept belt ammunition feeding devices and those modified to function as assault weapons.

In addition to federal restrictions on ownership of a firearm, Illinois has its own set of state restrictions. The following disqualifies a person from owning a firearm in Illinois:

  • Not been adjudicated as a mental defective.
  • Not been a patient in a mental institution or any part of a medical facility for the treatment of mental illness within the past 5 years.
  • Not intellectually disabled or developmentally disabled.
  • Not within the past year (preceding the date of this application) used or been addicted to any controlled substance or narcotics in violation of state or federal law.
  • Not subject of an existing Order of Protection or a No Contact/No Stalking Order.
  • Not within the past 5 years been convicted of battery, assault, aggravated assault, violation of an order of protection, or a substantially similar offense in which a firearm was used or possessed.
  • Not been convicted of domestic battery (felony or misdemeanor), aggravated domestic battery or a substantially similar offense.
  • Not been adjudicated by a court as a mental defective or ordered by a court, board or authorized entity to in-patient or out-patient mental health treatment.
  • Not an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.
  • Not within the past year failed a drug test for a drug for which I did not have a prescription.
  • Not been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  • Never renounced my citizenship as a citizen of the United States.
  • Never been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
  • Not a fugitive from justice.


  • Conviction (felony or misdemeanor) where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year (even if a buyer did not receive actual imprisonment exceeding 1 year).
  • Warrant (felony or out-of-state misdemeanor).
  • Felony pre-trial release.
  • Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence restraining/stalking/protection order mental health adjudication or commitment.
  • Unlawful use or addicted to a controlled substance (including marijuana).
  • Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
  • Renounced U.S. citizenship.
  • Illegal alien.

Save the Hassle, Sell your Gun to Dunlap Gun Buyers

If the hassle of navigating Illinois’ gun laws seems overwhelming, we’re excited to tell you that there’s a better way!

You can safely, easily and legally sell your handgun or long gun to Dunlap Gun Buyers and be 100% compliant with Illinois gun laws.

We have a Federal Firearms Licensee, who is licensed by the U.S. Government to help people with selling and transferring of firearms. We take care of the hard part and make the process safe, quick and hassle-free. The reality is you can sell your gun without leaving the house.

Just tell us which gun(s) you’d like to sell, we’ll make you an offer, and once we agree on a price, you’ll mail us your gun(s) with all expenses paid by us. When we receive your gun(s), we get you paid with a check in your hand within a few days.

When you use Dunlap Gun Buyers, you get the following unbeatable benefits!

Free gun appraisal  –  Fair price for your gun –  Free shipping

Easy shipment tracking throughout the whole process. Speedy payment!

Begin our safe and discrete process here.

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The information contained on this website has been prepared as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice. has used reasonable efforts in collecting, preparing, and providing quality information and material, but does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information contained in or linked to this website. Users of information from this website or links do so at their own risk and should consult their local firearm law resources and/or an attorney when engaging in selling a firearm. The cited information in this article was obtained on 09/07/23 from and

© 5/28/20