Concealed Carry in Parks in Illinois – What Does the Law Allow?

There is a provision in the Illinois Concealed Carry law that says that public parks and playgrounds are Prohibited Areas, but it is important to understand that there are ways you can live with this.

First of all, you can legally “pass through” any park if you are on a bike trail or walking path that passes through the park.  That is, if only a portion of the trail or path is in the park, you are okay to carry on that trail or path.  A good example is the Illinois Prairie Path.  It is located in the Chicago suburbs and runs 61 miles through more than 10 parks across three counties, and you can carry on that path. This provision is spelled out in 430 ILCS 66/65 (a) (13).   Now mind you, if the path or trail you are on is totally contained in the park, that is another story.  But if you are passing through, you are legal.

Another thing to realize is if you want to walk your dog, you can still go to the park and walk on the public sidewalk. 430 ILCS 66/65 ( c ) states that if you are on a public right of way that touches or crosses a prohibited area, you are fine.  So the public sidewalk along the street is just fine.  Your dog can do its business on the grass on either side of that sidewalk and be totally happy while you are still legal with your concealed firearm.

Is this a perfect law? No.  Can it be a pain in the rear end at times? Sure.  But by understanding the law, you will see that it is very livable. And, the Second Amendment is on the move, even in Illinois, so you can expect that changes are in the works.