Chicago has been my home for quite some time, but I’m originally from Arkansas. When I purchased a handgun there, it was simple. I filled out a sheet and paid cash for it. I walked in and out with a gun in 15 minutes. When I think about it today, I find that a little frightening. The process takes longer here in Chicago. You need to apply for a FOID card (Firearm Owners Identification). That takes up to two weeks to receive, if you pass the background check. Before issuing a FOID card, the Illinois State Police runs the name through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), an electronic database maintained by the FBI. The card looks and feels similar to a driver’s or State license. This gives you the opportunity to go to shooting ranges and practice with a rented firearm, along with one person who may not have one. This also allows you to purchase a firearm. Now purchasing one is another matter. You have to wait three days from the time you purchase one, which you can only do in the suburbs (outside of Cook County). A background check goes through NICS. If the instant check goes through a denial, there’s then 3 more days until a final reason is given. If nothing is verified, then you can proceed with the gun purchase.
I own a Sig Sauer P320 Carry. It’s a modular handgun that can be converted to a 9mm, .40 or .45, full, compact, or carry. Even the grips can be changed out depending on the size of your hand. When regularly visiting firing ranges, there are many other things to keep in mind. Without a concealed carry license, (which costs upwards of $500 to obtain here) you have to be extremely responsible and careful when traveling to the range. I have NEVER loaded a gun unless I was absolutely about to fire it at a range. Don’t. Fuck. Around. With. Guns. Period. It is NOT a toy.