ECA Hunting and Trade Shows

The Largest Hunting and Trade Shows in Illinois


1. Can I purchase tickets in advance?
No. There are no advance tickets, just an admission fee at the door. Tickets are $6.00 per adult (unless otherwise noted), and children are free when accompanied by an adult.

2. If I buy a gun do I have to go through a registration process or background check?
Yes. The purchaser, if not a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) Gun Dealer, is required to have a background check on all gun sales. At a gun show this rule even includes sales between private individuals. Transfers for individuals are available at the show for a fee of $10.00. Ask any dealer at the show for details.

3. What do I need to bring with me/ What is the procedure for buying a gun?
Illinois residents must bring their Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card when purchasing a firearm.  After deciding on a purchase, the buyer must complete Federal Form ATF 4473. The FFL will then notify the Illinois State Police (ISP) to perform a background check in accordance with state and federal law. After the FFL receives an “Approval” from the ISP, the purchaser is required to wait 24 hours for a long gun and 72 hours for a hand gun.

4. Can I get a background check done in advance so I am cleared when I get there?
No.  Please refer to the process described above in question # 3.

5. Can I bring firearms to the show to sell or trade?
Yes. You are more than welcome to bring your UNLOADED, CASED firearm to the show for sale or trade. Please remember to bring your FOID card, or your out of state I.D. Remember all sales between private individuals (Illinois residents) at a gun show are subject to a background check. Ask for details.

6. I have a concealed carry permit. Am I allowed to bring my gun in loaded?

7. How old do you have to be to attend the show or buy a gun?
Children must be accompanied by an adult when attending the gun show. In Illinois you must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a long gun and at least 21 years of age to purchase a handgun.

8. I am not an Illinois resident. Can I purchase a gun?
Out of state residents must have valid identification from their state. Out of state residents may acquire long guns only from FFLs licensed in Illinois. Out of state residents may acquire long guns only from FFLs licensed in Illinois.

9. How do I get a Concealed Carry Permit?
Every state now has Concealed Carry Permits available for residents and some for nonresidents. The Illinois process for acquiring a permit is still in the works and the law goes into effect January 2014. Information is available on the Illinois State Police website.  (  Ask at the show for details.

10. Are purchases subject to sales tax?
Yes. All sales in the State of Illinois are subject to sales tax.


If you brought a firearm in to sell, the law requires a background check on the buyer (if an individual). Just ask any dealer set up at the show – we have a process in place at this show to help you transfer that firearm legally. The fee for this is only $10.00. This fee includes; all necessary paperwork, call-in, booking, delivery and a receipt for your records. [This is a small price to pay for the “peace of mind” in knowing your firearm sale has been done legally]

If you are selling your firearm to FFL dealer at this show, they will take care of everything and give you a receipt from their shop.

Illinois State Law requires a 24 hour waiting period on the purchase of a long gun and a 72 hour waiting period on the purchase of a handgun. If anyone tells you otherwise they are wrong. These are the same regulations that apply to all Illinois gun shops.

All of these are common sense laws that keep your firearm from falling into the wrong hands.

Thanks for coming out today! We hope you enjoy the show and may you get top dollar for your gun.