FACT CHECK: Are Guns Illegal In Chicago?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims guns are illegal in Chicago.



Verdict: False

While Chicago has strict gun laws, they are not illegal to own in the city, according to experts.

Fact Check:

In the wake of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting May 24, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claimed that crime in Chicago, which has strict gun control laws, proves the idea of tough gun legislation is “not a real solution,” according to Fox News. A similar claim was echoed by Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at a recent National Rifle Association (NRA) conference, The Associated Press reported.

A post shared on Facebook claims guns are actually illegal in Chicago. “Guns are illegal in Chicago,” reads the post. “Yet, Chicago has gun violence every weekend. So, libs, explain how gun control prevents gun violence?”

The claim is inaccurate. A city ordinance that banned handgun possession was overturned in 2010 in the Supreme Court case McDonald v. City of Chicago, according to The Chicago Tribune. The court ruled the Second Amendment’s “right of the people to keep and bear arms” also applied to state and local government jurisdictions. Therefore the city of Chicago cannot legally ban all guns.

Firearm experts also disagreed with the claim. (RELATED: ‘That’s Just Human Nature’ – Did Dianne Feinstein Say This Quote About Gun Control?)

“I can say it’s clearly false to state that guns are illegal to own in Chicago,” Jake Charles, the executive director of the Center for Firearm Law, said in an email to Check Your Fact, citing the McDonald ruling.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, a gun-rights advocacy group, told Check Your Fact in an email that “at the present time, it would be inaccurate to say that ‘all firearms are illegal’ (i.e., prohibited to possess) in the City of Chicago, Ill.”

Kelle Bartoli, a spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department, explained that in order to legally purchase a gun in Chicago, residents must have an owner’s license and a concealed carry license.

“The State of Illinois requires gun owner licensing (FOID) and a concealed carry license (CCL),” said Bartoli in an email to Check Your Fact. “Those are handled at the State Police level.”

In order to receive a Firearms Owner Identification (FOID), Illinois residents must have a valid driver’s license and must be “eligible,” according to the Illinois State Police website. The website includes a lengthy list of circumstances that would make someone ineligible, including a felony conviction or a mental disability.

Bartoli also pointed Check Your Fact to a recent bill signed by Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker banning “ghost guns” as well as ordinances in Cook County banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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