Catfish Creek (FiveC)


What does ILLINOIS say

about IA & WI residents carrying in ILLINOIS?

Many people with legal IA or WI weapon permits avoid carrying in ILLINOIS because they are unsure what the  IL reciprocity laws are.

We also have a lot of IA & WI residents inquire about our IL Carry Courses, which we only offer to IL residents.

In an attempt to clear the muddied water on both issues please see the below info, and our comments to the right of each subject...

Straight from the

Can out-of-state residents obtain an Illinois Concealed Carry License?
   Yes. However, only residents of states or territories of the United States that have laws related to firearm ownership, possession, and carrying, that are substantially similar to the requirements to obtain a license under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act are eligible.
What does "substantially similar" mean?
   "Substantially Similar" means the comparable state regulates who may carry firearms, concealed or otherwise, in public; prohibits all who have involuntary mental health admissions, and those with voluntary admissions within the past 5 years, from carrying firearms, concealed or otherwise, in public; reports denied persons to NICS; and participates in reporting persons authorized to carry firearms, concealed or otherwise, in public through Nlets.
How can I find out if my state's laws are considered "substantially similar?"
   The Illinois State Police sent a survey to each state to determine which of them has laws that are substantially similar. Click here to find out how your state responded and if your state's laws have been determined to be substantially similar. Currently, the only states considered to be substantially similar are Hawaii, New Mexico, South Carolina and Virginia.
Note: Not all states have responded to the survey.

31 blue states above ARE reciprocal with IOWA!

Can I carry in ILLINOIS?

SORRY, lots of legalese here, we'll summarize it in the right-hand column, but it is YOUR responsibility to check the reliability of any opinion. Please contact us if you find a differing opinions so that we can update if necessary.

430 ILCS 66

Sec. 40. Non-resident license applications.
(a) For the purposes of this Section, "non-resident" means a person who has not resided within this State for more than 30 days and resides in another state or territory.
(b) The Department shall by rule allow for non-resident license applications from any state or territory of the United States with laws related to firearm ownership, possession, and carrying, that are substantially similar to the requirements to obtain a license under this Act.


(e) Nothing in this Act shall prohibit a non-resident from transporting a concealed firearm within his or her vehicle in Illinois, if the concealed firearm remains within his or her vehicle and the non-resident:
(1) is not prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under federal law;

(2) is eligible to carry a firearm in public under
the laws of his or her state or territory of residence, as evidenced by the possession of a concealed carry license or permit issued by his or her state of residence, if applicable; and
(3) is not in possession of a license under this Act.
If the non-resident leaves his or her vehicle unattended, he or she shall store the firearm within a locked vehicle or locked container within the vehicle in accordance with subsection (b) of Section 65 of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 98-63, eff. 7-9-13; 98-600, eff. 12-6-13.)
How much of Sect. 65 sub (b) applies to non-residents is vague. You might read "any licensee" to include yourself (if you are traveling under a valid license from your state), but nothing in the text seems to either support or deny that idea. The context seems to flavor the thought, but it's IL, so it would be anyone's guess as to how a particular officer or judge may interpret...

430 ILCS 66

Section 65. Prohibited areas

(b) Notwithstanding subsections (a), (a-5), and (a-10) of this Section except under paragraph (22) or (23) of subsection (a), any licensee prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm into the parking area of a prohibited location specified in subsection (a), (a-5), or (a-10) of this Section shall be permitted to carry a concealed firearm on or about his or her person within a vehicle into the parking area and may store a firearm or ammunition concealed in a case within a locked vehicle or locked container out of plain view within the vehicle in the parking area. A licensee may carry a concealed firearm in the immediate area surrounding his or her vehicle within a prohibited parking lot area only for the limited purpose of storing or retrieving a firearm within the vehicle's trunk, provided the licensee ensures the concealed firearm is unloaded prior to exiting the vehicle. For purposes of this subsection, "case" includes a glove compartment or console that completely encloses the concealed firearm or ammunition, the trunk of the vehicle, or a firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container

(a-10) The owner of private real property of any type may prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms on the property under his or her control. The owner must post a sign in accordance with subsection (d) of this Section indicating that firearms are prohibited on the property, unless the property is a private residence.
(d) Signs stating that the carrying of firearms is prohibited shall be clearly and conspicuously posted at the entrance of a building, premises, or real property specified in this Section as a prohibited area, unless the building or premises is a private residence. Signs shall be of a uniform design as established by the Department and shall be 4 inches by 6 inches in size. The Department shall adopt rules for standardized signs to be used under this subsection.
(Source: P.A. 98-63, eff. 7-9-13.)

Visit our calendar to see currently scheduled events, or contact us to schedule a course for yourself or a group, for 1 student or a dozen!

call Kelly at 563/581-5591

Have a small group of friends, family members, or employees who are seeking their Iowa, or Wisconsin Permit to Carry Weapons? We host our classes  around your schedule, for ONE student or for DOZENS, no class is too small.

2 hour evening classes are $50.00 per student.

Catfish Creek is teaming-up with instructor Rick Woods to offer IL residents the certification required to get their Illinois concealed carry license. (more info)

15165 oLD hIGHWAY rOAD, peosta, ia, 52068

IA & WI residents,
please note...

ILLINOIS is NOT exactly "reciprocal" with IA or WI,
but that does NOT mean you need to leave your gun at home, read on...

Can an IA or WI resident get an IL Carry Permit?

At first glance, when reading the FAQ from IL State Police (in the left column) you might read "YES" to mean YES, but we need to read on and see that certain qualifying conditions are added which more or less say NO.

They use the phrase "substantially similar" in such a way that they eliminate all but FOUR states... keep reading.

ILLINOIS says "substantially similar" means...

Special reporting to various agencies regarding information which citizens of most other states prefer to keep private.

In the chart below you can see that IA does NOT require it's citizens to surrender their privacy to Nlets by reporting their legal permits.
(thank you IA, if a cop needs to know I'm packing then I'll tell him myself)

Further, both IA & WI do NOT prohibit those with voluntary mental health admissions from carrying guns.
(good move IA & WI, some folks who need help might avoid it if they knew they'd lose their permit).

This boils-down to say...

...that residents of IA & WI (+44 other states) NEED NOT APPLY for an opportunity to acquire an IL permit.         (click here to see the other 44 states)


HOW can IA & WI residents carry in IL?

Provisions are made (at the demand of US Supreme Court) to allow some degree of reciprocity for those who can carry legally in other states. The key info is in Section 40 of the Act, where it says, "Nothing in this Act shall prohibit a non-resident from transporting a concealed firearm within his or her vehicle in Illinois".

IA & WI permit holders then, being "eligible to carry firearms" may carry concealed IN THEIR VEHICLES, but only WHILE THEY TRAVEL, but...

IF you EXIT your vehicle please note that you must UNLOAD your gun and STORE it in accordance with IL laws (sub b of Sect. 65)...

You are NOT eligible to carry concealed outside your own vehicle.

What if I stop for the night?

From the IL State Police:

Can I keep a firearm in my hotel room when I travel?

Yes, assuming no local ordinance applies. The critical question is how the firearm was carried into the room and transported in a vehicle. Those actions must be done lawfully.

Your hotel room is considered your "domicile" while you are legally inhabiting it. You must unload and secure your firearm in a closed container to transfer it to your trunk or to enter your motel room etc.

BUT... if the hotel designates as a Weapons-Free Zone you CANNOT legally bring your firearm in.


FEDERAL law already allows a US citizen to transport firearms across state lines, even WITHOUT A PERMIT with a few exceptions as follows:

Title 18 > Part 1 > Chapter 44 > § 926A

Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

Note: If you are traveling and don’t interrupt your trip for sightseeing or to get a room for the night but only stop for food and fuel you can transport an unloaded stored firearm under federal law 18-926A. As long as you are traveling you fall under federal law. If you stop you then fall under state law.

Laws change from state to state...

Each state has gun laws that are unique to themselves (especially Illinois) so ALWAYS be sure to become familiar with the laws of states you intend to visit if you plan to pack a gun.

What we have provided here is just a summary of the IL gun laws, and our own understanding of how they apply (yes, this is a disclaimer), you should ALWAYS investigate for yourself!

For example, IL views signage prohibiting firearms as legally binding, even a permit holder may not enter such a premises with a firearm.

[see 430 ILCS 66 Sec 65, sub (a-10) & (d)]

It's always important to know HOW the law-makers define various terms in their legislation, see below for a few of those details in the Act.

Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:

"Concealed firearm" means a loaded or unloaded handgun carried on or about a person completely or mostly concealed from view of the public or on or about a person within a vehicle.

Note: 20 IL Administrative Rules Section 1231.10 Definitions "Within a Vehicle" means within the passenger compartment of a passenger or recreational vehicle or within a lockable container secured to a motorcycle.