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Illinois 80 Percent Lower Laws

80 Percent Arms   |   Dec 15th 2021

Disclaimer: To get started, we want to share a small disclaimer. We are dedicated and proud supporters of everything 2nd amendment, but we are not lawyers. So, before you take what you read here and run with it, you will want to double-check all of your local or state gun laws. Make sure you are up to date on any special regulations that may apply to you and your situation. Gun laws are always changing and always do your part to stay up to date with the newest and current laws.

This information is provided as a service to the public. It is NOT intended to be taken as legal advice and should never be considered as such. Make sure to do your own research as you and you alone are responsible for your own actions.

This is a developing list of information we intend to update regularly to stay accurate and current. If you see a discrepancy or a mistake with your home state’s laws that we’ve covered, feel free to let us know so we can correct it. Thank you and stay safe!

What is an 80% Lower?

An 80% lower receiver is an unfinished and unserialized blank which requires so machining work from the end user to turn it into a 100% lower receiver, otherwise, what is legally considered as a firearm. 80 lowers are missing the trigger pocket and a three holes that need to be milled and drilled out to be completed. Unless states have passed their own laws barring the possession or sales of 80% products; pending the ATF's updated decision from the most recent proposed rule 2021R-05 80% lowers are completely legal, not considered firearms and thus can be shipped straight to your front door. No FFL required. To explore the 80% lowers we have to offer, check out our multiple collections.

Are 80 Lowers Legal In Illinois?

As of this guide’s initial publish date, 80% lower receivers and frames are not considered as firearms by the ATF and are legal to ship directly to buyers residing in the state of Illinois.

Do I Need to Serialize My 80 Lower in Illinois?

If you build out your own firearms starting with 80 lowers in Illinois you do not need to serialize the lower receiver or frame as there are currently no laws requiring citizens to do so. Should you wish to serialize your lower receiver you certainly can if necessary through our 80 lower engraving services.

Key Gun Laws in Illinois

Other than laws regarding 80 lowers, these are the key gun laws you should be aware of if you reside or are traveling through Illinois.

Firearm Possession and Purchase Requirements

The state of Illinois prohibits any person under the age of 18 to possess a handgun. State law also prohibits any person from knowingly transferring a handgun to any minor (straw purchase). In order to purchase firearms in Illinois residents must obtain a Firearms Owner ID card or, FOID. To obtain a FOID, applicants generally must be over 21 years of age unless they have written consent from their parents or legal guardian. But for long guns such as rifles or shotguns, any eligible Illinois resident above 18 years of age may do so. Please note that there is a 72 hour waiting period for firearm purchases.

All firearm purchases and private party transfers require a background check (Dealer Record of Sale also known as 4473 form or “DROS”). While federal law requires federal firearm license holders (“FFL’s”:) to initiate background checks on buyers prior to the sale of a firearm, federal law also allows states to serve as their own “point of contact” and conduct their own background checks via state, federal records or databases, as well as the option to use the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. Illinois is a point of contact for the NICS and as a result, firearms dealers conduct background checks that are processed by the Illinois Department of State Police (DSP).

Open and Concealed Carrying

Illinois is a “shall issue'' state when it comes to concealed carry and it does not recognize CCW permits from any other states. But non-resident permits are available for residents from Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Virginia. Open carry is completely illegal. Illinois issues ccw’s in the form of a “CCL” or Concealed Carry License. Conceal carriers must be at least 21 years of age and pass a state-approved firearms training course that includes live-fire exercises. To see more details of Illinois’ restrictive policies on concealed carry permits check this reciprocity map here.

The state of Illinois does not have any form of a state-level “assault weapons ban,” magazine ban or capacity limit, or restrict the sale or possession of firearms that have been defined as assault weapons though some local jurisdictions do restrict them.

NFA Restrictions

There are several NFA weapons and related items’ restrictions in Illinois. The possession of short barreled shotguns is completely prohibited and short barreled rifles can only be owned with a Curio and Relics license. There is also an “ assault weapon ban” which Illinois residents should be aware of, especially if traveling through or residing in Chicago.

Magazine Capacity Restrictions

There are no magazine capacity restrictions in Illinois, with the exception of a few specific localities such as Chicago. Enjoy those drums and belt-fed box magazines! We carry plenty of standard capacity magazines like the Lancer Advanced Warfighter L5 mag which is a 30 rounder too. Our favorite color is the translucent smoke one.

Mandatory Storage Requirements

Residents should also be aware of safe storage mandates in which they are required to have a locking device securing their firearm(s) so that no one other than the owner or another lawfully authorized user can use it. You should also exercise caution because you can be tried for negligently leaving your guns accessible to children. If you need some good ideas or best practices for storing your guns and gear here are 5 ways to store your firearms at home.


When in Illinois, there is a duty to retreat before lethal force for self-defense can be used because there is no stand your ground law or castle doctrine in place.

Ammunition Purchase

To buy ammo in Illinois, buyers must be at least 21 years of age and have a FOID card. Anyone under the age of 21 must have written consent of a parent or legal guardian to purchase ammo. Illinois has banned the manufacture, sale, purchase and possession of any armor-piercing bullets, dragon’s breath shotgun shell, bolo shell and flechette shells, and exploding ammunition.

Start Your Next 80 Lower Build with 80% Arms!

Illinois residents are completely free to build their own firearms from 80 lowers and frames without any required serialization or FFL transactions. At this time there have not been any bans on 80 percents so take advantage of your constitutional Second Amendment right and freedom to keep, bear and build your own arms while you can! Grab an 80 lower jig and some buddies to enjoy that freedom together and let us know if you need any advice with your build at any point in the process. Friends, live free.