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Proper Traveling with Firearms in Illinois

If you have an Illinois Concealed Carry License (CCL), you may be wondering about the proper protocol for traveling with your firearm. There are important legal considerations when transporting firearms to ensure you stay compliant with Illinois laws. In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of critical information for legally and safely traveling with firearms in Illinois.

Transporting in Vehicles When transporting a firearm in a vehicle in Illinois, it must be:

  • Unloaded
  • Enclosed in a case
  • Not immediately accessible (e.g. in the trunk of a car)

If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the firearm must be in a locked container other than the glove box or console. For motorcycles, the firearm must be in a locked container attached to the cycle.

The ammunition must be kept separately from the firearm. It can be kept in the same locked case as long as it’s enclosed in a separate container inside the case.

There are exceptions if you have a valid FOID card and CCL. With a CCL, you can keep a loaded, accessible firearm in your vehicle but it must be concealed from public view. Without a CCL, it cannot be immediately accessible even with a FOID card.

Public Transportation

You are not allowed to bring firearms on any public transportation in Illinois, including trains, buses, and subways. The only exception is if it involves interstate transportation and follows the guidelines of the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA).

Under FOPA, firearms being transported must be unloaded and in a locked container. Ammunition must be in a separate locked container. The containers must not be directly accessible from the passenger compartment.

Air Travel

When traveling by air, firearms must be unloaded and in a locked, hard-sided container in checked baggage only. You must declare it to the airline at check-in. The airline may have additional requirements so always check ahead of time.

Ammo must be in its original box and stored inside the locked case. You are limited to 11 pounds of ammo per passenger. Any firearms or ammunition not declared is illegal.

Hotels & Other Lodging

In Illinois, private business owners can prohibit firearms on their property. Always check ahead of time with any hotels, motels, or other lodging to understand their policies before bringing firearms.

Some nationwide hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton have policies restricting firearms. If no policy is posted, it’s best to notify staff there is a legally owned, secured firearm stored in your room just so they are aware. Always use gun locks and store unloaded firearms and ammo securely in hotel rooms.

When traveling out of Illinois with firearms, you must follow the destination state’s laws as well as all applicable federal laws under FOPA. This includes proper transport methods such as using locked cases and restricting accessibility.

Out-of-State Travel

Some states have reciprocity agreements with Illinois that allow mutual recognition of licenses. However, never assume your CCL guarantees you can legally carry in another state. Always research state and local laws beforehand to ensure lawful compliance.

In summary, properly transporting firearms involves careful adherence to Illinois laws and being cognizant of the relevant regulations in any other state you may travel to. Following TSA guidelines is critical for air travel and notifying staff is wise when staying at lodging. With the proper diligence and care taken ahead of time, Illinois residents can lawfully travel with their licensed firearms. Let us know if you have any other questions!