IL Firearm Transportation Laws


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Matt304
January 30, 2008, 09:08 PM
I'm just a little confused about when a firearm actually becomes "concealed".

I can transport a handgun in a holster, so long as the gun is not loaded itself. I believe the magazine can even be in the same case and loaded, so long as the magazine is not in the gun.

Now I don't plan to try this but I am curious. Assuming that a handgun in a holster is properly cased, can the holster be worn by the individual in public if it is not concealed nor loaded? For instance, driving or walking around publicly with a chest holster, openly carrying the pistol, with the mag loaded and in your pocket.

I assume it would be legal until the moment the pistol exited the holster in a public place. Is this correct? Where does law define where the pistol can and cannot be pulled from the holster in this event?

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isp2605
January 30, 2008, 10:16 PM
A holster does not fit the definition of case. To transport/carry a firearm in IL it has to be unloaded and in a case. Open carry does not fit the legal standard as the firearm is not in a case.

scout26
January 30, 2008, 10:17 PM
I believe the magazine can even be in the same case and loaded, so long as the magazine is not in the gun.

Correct

Now I don't plan to try this but I am curious. Assuming that a handgun in a holster is properly cased, can the holster be worn by the individual in public if it is not concealed nor loaded? For instance, driving or walking around publicly with a chest holster, openly carrying the pistol, with the mag loaded and in your pocket.

Umm, nope. The firearm must be completely enclosed in a container designed for the purpose of transporting a firearm. A holster doesn't cut it, unless it completely and totally covers the firearm.

From: http://www.isp.state.il.us/foid/firearmsfaq.cfm

How can I legally transport a firearm on my person or in my vehicle?
There is more than one way to legally transport a firearm. However, in order to be in compliance with all statutes, it is recommended all firearms be transported:
Unloaded,
Enclosed in a case and,
By persons who have a valid FOID card.

What constitutes a legal "case" for transporting a firearm?
The Criminal Code refers to "a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container." However, the Wildlife Code is more specific, defining case as "a container specifically designed for the purpose of housing a gun or bow and arrow device which completely encloses such gun or bow and arrow device by being zipped, snapped, buckled, tied, or otherwise fastened with no portion of the gun or bow and arrow device exposed."

The actual law is here: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+24&ActID=1876&ChapAct=720%A0ILCS%A05%2F&ChapterID=53&ChapterName=CRIMINAL+OFFENSES&SectionID=60752&SeqStart=50300000&SeqEnd=53000000&ActName=Criminal+Code+of+1961%2E


Also, you can use this site's Search function on "Six Seconds to Saftey" and "Shaun Kranish" on this forum. This has been cussed and discussed over and over.

driving or walking around publicly with a chest holster, openly carrying the pistol
Depending on where you are in Illinois, you might either be totally ignored or end up face down on the pavement under 2,000 lbs of pigpile with a wide variety of firearms pointed at the back of your head.

NukemJim
January 31, 2008, 07:55 AM
This topic has been covered extensively in the past.
Look for posts by ISP2605. He is a retired Ill State Police officer who has gone over this several times and corrected many misinterpintation.

NukeJim

Matt304
January 31, 2008, 01:01 PM
NukeJim, sometimes topics like these are a little hard to search for at this forum without knowing the specific term to meet with the previous thread. Heck, I typed the exact name of a thread I started yesterday and the thread was displayed on the second page of the results list.

About the holster not being a case, it really looks like some folks I know need to be warned.

I know two people specifically who have transported unloaded holstered revolvers around for about 30 years in Illinois not knowing this. I think a lot of old timers are probably unaware that a strapped leather holster is not a case in IL.

isp2605
January 31, 2008, 01:24 PM
About the holster not being a case, it really looks like some folks I know need to be warned.

I know two people specifically who have transported unloaded holstered revolvers around for about 30 years in Illinois not knowing this. I think a lot of old timers are probably unaware that a strapped leather holster is not a case in IL.
Just because they've been doing it for 30 yrs doesn't mean they've been doing it legally. And it's no excuse when going to court. All that shows is they didn't bother to look up what they needed to do to stay legal. The definition of "case" has been in the IL statutes for a lot longer than 30 years. All they would have had to do is look it up if they really wanted to know.
And so you'll know, here's the statute and definition of "case".
(520 ILCS 5/1.2b‑1) (from Ch. 61, par. 1.2b‑1)
Sec. 1.2b‑1. Case. Case means a container specifically designed for the purpose of housing a gun or bow and arrow device which completely encloses such gun or bow and arrow device by being zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened with no portion of the gun or bow and arrow device exposed.

Matt304
February 2, 2008, 04:19 AM
Just because they've been doing it for 30 yrs doesn't mean they've been doing it legally. And it's no excuse when going to court. All that shows is they didn't bother to look up what they needed to do to stay legal. The definition of "case" has been in the IL statutes for a lot longer than 30 years. All they would have had to do is look it up if they really wanted to know.

Uh, no one ever said they've been doing it legally, or that they weren't at fault. I said, "it really looks like some folks I know need to be warned".

Now, above they state that the case must be specifically designed to carry the gun. So according to that, a locking briefcase with foam is not a proper container if it was not specifically designed to house the gun?

isp2605
February 2, 2008, 10:02 AM
So according to that, a locking briefcase with foam is not a proper container if it was not specifically designed to house the gun?
Read the statute again. That's the definition you have to meet. It's not real difficult unless you want to play mind games and make it difficult.

WildeKurt
February 2, 2008, 10:24 AM
An enclosed holder is specifically designed to transport a weapon. I'm no expert here but don't a lot of military holsters completely cover the weapon? I specifically recall the old calvary holsters. I think this needs a court test. Any volunteers?

isp2605
February 2, 2008, 11:17 AM
I'm no expert here but don't a lot of military holsters completely cover the weapon?
Nope, not even the old cavalry holsters completely covered the firearm. The butt was still visible. The case has to meet the definition of "completely encloses". Flap holsters, even military types, don't "completely enclose".
Doesn't need a court test anymore. It already been tested in court many times every year.

Rocketman56
February 2, 2008, 11:52 AM
Yikes... still looking at moving back to Central Illinois..

Have to remember these "little" issues when discussing it with the family.. :what:

Sounds like these need to be "re-written" or removed.. Is this a statute or
buried in the constitution.. I seem to recall its a statute which is a LOT easier
to change.. Of course, with Daleystan still a part of IL, its going to take a LOT
of work to get it changed.. :banghead:

Later,
Steve

scout26
February 2, 2008, 02:33 PM
Here's the example we always use in our Hunter Ed courses.

If you wrap your firearm in a blanket, even if it's completely covered it's illegal as it's not a case.

If you take that same blanket, sew up the sides and make it so that there's a way that you can tie, buckle, snap, zip or otherwise fasten to completely enclose the firearm, then it qualifies as a case. Because it completely encloses, and it now was specifically designed/made to carry a firearm.

And technically yes, if you take a piece of foam, cut out a gun shape and put that in a breifcase. That is now specifically designed to carry a firearm. Just tossing a gun into a briefcase does not make it a lawful case. Remember the key words. "specifically designed for the purpose of housing a gun..... "

isp2605
February 2, 2008, 08:02 PM
Exactly right scout26. That's why I told him not to over think it. Your description of the brief case is exactly correct. If they'd think about it just a tiny bit they could have figured that themselves.

Autolycus
February 2, 2008, 08:34 PM
What about Sean Kranish's case? He essentially took a blackhawk holster and altered it to completely cover the weapon. It was ruled ok by the courts. I am just trying to further the discussion.

You all do know there is a CCW bill currently in the house again.

Matt304
February 2, 2008, 08:38 PM
ISP, is there a reason you are being so cocky in this thread? You were also rather misleading in the way you answered.

Thank you Scout for clarifying, assuming what you have said is correct.

"Case means a container specifically designed for the purpose of housing a gun".

That doesn't exactly say who can design it for the purpose of housing a gun. My question concerned that. If it was originally a typewriter case, then how do I know if I put foam in it which is cut that it then qualifies as a gun case? I mean, technically it is still a typewriter case with foam in it. But if it looks made to carry a gun after modification and is legal that way, then I see a gray area start to arise.

What if there is foam placed in it which is not cut, etc etc. This is where the law can be a little confusing and I questioned the validity of a random case being altered.

And these are not "mind games", these are valid questions. I have a few hard briefcases that I have used to carry pistols which I previously thought met every definition of a legal gun case. Since the foam is not cut, the way it is described, until I cut the foam they are actually illegal cases.

isp2605
February 2, 2008, 09:08 PM
What about Sean Kranish's case? He essentially took a blackhawk holster and altered it to completely cover the weapon. It was ruled ok by the courts.
That's not at all what happened. Read the case again and don't take your information from his website.

That doesn't exactly say who can design it for the purpose of housing a gun.
That's right, it doesn't. It says "a container specifically designed for the purpose of housing a gun".
Scout26 answered your questions before you asked. Read his post again as it answers your question.

sctman800
February 2, 2008, 10:24 PM
Matt304 said

What if there is foam placed in it which is not cut, etc etc. This is where the law can be a little confusing and I questioned the validity of a random case being altered.

Good question, I have some generic pistol cases that do not have the foam cut out but are obviously gun cases.
Question for isp2605, where can I get the information you speak about in the Shaun Kranish case. Also it is my understanding the case was dismissed by the judge with prejudice. Thanks Jim.

isp2605
February 2, 2008, 10:53 PM
where can I get the information
It's public record on file at the courthouse.

Scout62 answered the question exactly correct.
Gun case law is not something that is unusual for the courts. CPOs write a bunch of those citations every year so the courts have had many different variations of what people try to pass off as "cases".
I had an arrest in 1982 or 83 that went to the appellate courts where the subject had a shotgun in a soft case and had a hole cut out at the trigger so he could fire the gun by sticking his finger in the hole and activating the trigger. The court ruled that his alteration did not "completely enclose the gun" and therefore was not a valid case. The subject appealed and the appellate court upheld the finding against him.
my understanding the case was dismissed by the judge
Being dismissed is not the same as a finding of guilt or not guilty. Entirely different things. Dismissed means the SA decided not to go forward with prosecution. Judges don't "dismiss" cases. Judges only rule a finding of either guilt or not guilty. SAs dismiss charges which is not at all unusual. With multiple charges filed a time of trial or hearing an SA will notify the judge of which charges are being dismissed and which are proceeding.

ilbob
February 2, 2008, 11:15 PM
last I heard the SA was appealing the judge's ruling.

the thing to remember is that this is Illinois. it is not a state where your rights are respected, nor are you likely to get the benefit of the doubt.

it is therefore prudent to not give someone the opportunity to ruin your day by trying to assert what you might think is lawful. you may well ultimately win, but the legal expenses and aggravation may make it a hollow victory.

you also to need to understand how the legal system actually works. it is not about trying to play fair and come to a fair decision. once you are in the system it is about convicting you, and nothing else. the state has infinite resources if they chose to use them, and you do not.

Don Gwinn
February 3, 2008, 01:18 AM
None of what follows comes from Shaun Kranish's website or the forum he founded.

Being dismissed is not the same as a finding of guilt or not guilty. Entirely different things. Dismissed means the SA decided not to go forward with prosecution. Judges don't "dismiss" cases.
I don't think that's what happened in the Kranish case. Maybe you're right, but in the Rockford newspaper account at the time, the SA (Mr. Logli) was quoted as stating that his office would probably appeal the dismissal to the Appellate Court in the hope that they would "make some law." Can he really appeal his own decision not to carry a prosecution forward?
If it were just some reporter saying that the judge dismissed the charges with prejudice, I could believe that the reporter didn't do his research, but I don't think that's the case with the prosecutor himself.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=289663
ROCKFORD — A gun charge against a Rock Valley College student for carrying a semi-automatic pistol in a holster while shopping at CherryVale Mall was dismissed Monday.

Judge Steven Vecchio of the 17th Circuit Court of Winnebago and Boone counties dismissed the felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charge against Shaun Kranish after Kranish’s attorney argued his client wasn’t breaking the law.

Kranish, 22, was arrested in May 2006 for carrying the unloaded gun at the mall in what has been described as an enclosed holster, meaning the gun is not exposed. Kranish had the ammunition for the gun in a separate compartment on the holster, which was strapped to his right thigh.

Illinois law stipulates it is illegal to carry or possess a firearm in public, but they can be transported if the weapons are broken down in a nonfunctioning state; are not immediately accessible; or are unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm-carrying box, shipping box or other container by a person who has been issued a currently valid firearm owner’s identification card.

Kranish’s attorney, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, argued in his motion to dismiss that his client’s holster constituted a case.

“The defense believes that if the case encloses the weapon then it’s not a violation of the law,” said Winnebago County State’s Attorney Paul Logli, whose office prosecuted the weapons charge. “They argued that carrying it on his person qualifies as a case, and he can carry it. We disagree. We don’t believe a fanny pack is an exception to the weapons statute.”

Logli said his office has 30 days to file a notice of appeal.

“We believe we have sufficient grounds for appeal,” he said. “Hopefully the appellate court can make some law on this.”

Gun rights advocates across the state are viewing the case’s dismissal as a major victory, paving the way for fewer gun restrictions for law-abiding gun owners.

“Shaun made huge progress with this case,” said John Birch, the nearly 10-year president of Concealed Carry Inc. “Sometimes we can’t make progress legislatively, but we can in the judicial system.”

Birch, of Oak Brook, said he hopes law enforcement officials take note of the case’s outcome.

“I hope the state’s attorneys and sheriffs of this state will educate everybody and their own people on the proper and legal methods of transporting weapons so they stop prosecuting innocent people,” Birch said.

Kranish, of Rockford, is the founder of the Web-based organization ICarry.org.

He also was arrested in October 2005 and charged with disorderly conduct after wearing an empty holster into the Rock Valley College president’s office. He said he wanted to make an appointment with the president to speak about gun rights and was directed to campus police. A secretary told police that she couldn’t tell if the holster was empty or not and called campus police to alert them that someone might be on campus with a gun.

That charge was dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Kranish, who also could not be reached for comment, has a $1.5 million civil rights lawsuit in federal court as a result of that arrest alleging he was wrongfully arrested and his right of free speech among other rights was violated.

A misdemeanor charge of resisting a police officer from the mall incident remains pending, as well.


So, no, having the charges dismissed by Judge Vecchio would not be the same as an acquittal, which is a common thread through several high-profile cases that Illinois gun owners like to cite as "precedent." Kranish, Horstman, Haggerty . . . none actually went to trial, none were acquitted. As I understand it, that means no binding precedent was created.
But neither does it seem to be the same as having a prosecutor decide to use his discretion to end his prosecution and not go forward. Again, I don't see why a State's Attorney would need to appeal his own decision not to go forward.
And BTW, a tip of the cap to Tecumseh, who reposted that text in the Kranish thread. He was right; the Rockford Star link must have gone dead at some point. Good thing he saved it for us.

ilbob
February 3, 2008, 01:38 AM
There was an interesting missive from the lawyer in the case that was quite on point. But that was before the SA decided to appeal. I have not heard much since.

The situation may have been muddied up a lot by the unusual behavior of Mr. Kranish since then.

He got involved with some silver round producers who were selling one ounce silver rounds stamped as $20 and apparently he used them to buy ice cream cones. The store owner was understandably upset when he found out the silver rounds were not real money and called the cops on him.

Then he got himself involved with the tax protesters (the Browns) in NH. In fact, he apparently was instrumental in helping them to be brought into custody after their trial. His claim seems to be that he was an unwitting dupe in the matter.

There is some speculation that the feds may have turned him to help them get the Browns by using the silver round thing as leverage. I have heard speculation that they got to him by using his wife against him. I have been told she is from an East European country and they may have threatened him with deporting her.

I really just don't understand a lot of it. I have talked with him face to face and he sounds completely rational, and then he starts talking about how GWB blew up the WTC.

Personally, the last thing I would have been doing if I were him was pushing my luck after what he went through on the (IMO) totally bogus UUW charge.

The whole situation with this guy just confuses me. I am not real sure just what is real and what is not in the case.

isp2605
February 3, 2008, 10:47 AM
Pull the court docket and see what it says. The court docket will tell more than just the ruling. It will show the arguments presented and when.
What people don't understand is that whatever happens in Winnebago Co really doesn't matter in rest of the state or even in that county. A judge's ruling in that county has no bearing on judges in that circuit, any other circuit or even that same judge in future cases.

Soybomb
February 3, 2008, 02:29 PM
I do have a question along those line as long as we're on the topic. I've got some silicone gun socks with like a 4" wide fold over flap at the bottom. They have a 2" strip of velco in the middle of the flap. Logic says that counts as completely enclosed. If you poked the sock or held it upside down or something I'm sure you could cause an edge of the flap to lift and no longer completely enclose the gun. Safe case for transportation in IL or not?

isp2605
February 3, 2008, 06:00 PM
I don't know which gun sock you have so can't comment directly. I have a couple which have the velcro as you describe. Don't know the makes. The case completely encompasses the gun and the velcro "fastens" the case so they are OK. The examples given in the statute are just examples. I don't know if velcro was even invented when that statute was worded. As long as it "fastens" in some way you're good to go.

Soybomb
February 3, 2008, 08:44 PM
Thanks, thats what I thought but it never hurts to double check.

Don Gwinn
February 3, 2008, 08:45 PM
I've used 'em for years, and dad and I have both kept a few in our vehicles for "emergencies."

On the other hand, they're just light cloth. I can imagine some officer deciding that he'd rather run you in just to be safe; you could probably fire a loaded gun through one of those without removing it.

Under the letter of the law, though, they're legal. They are designed to hold firearms and they completely enclose the firearm. That satisfies both statutes. The question might be how much it will cost you to prove it.

ilbob
February 4, 2008, 12:34 AM
Under the letter of the law, though, they're legal. They are designed to hold firearms and they completely enclose the firearm. That satisfies both statutes. The question might be how much it will cost you to prove it.And keep in mind that this is Illinois. The courts just do not care much if you are legal or not. You may well get roughed up, arrested, booked, charged, and jailed for some period of time before you can arrange to get out. Then you will spend a ton of money on legal expenses to prove that you committed no crime. You will almost certainly have no recourse even if you eventually "win" your case.

If you object to being falsely arrested, you will probably be charged with resisting. That charge may well stick.

In any case, once you are in the system, every time a cop runs your plates or your name the fact that you were falsely arrested won't show up. What the cop will assume is you beat the rap some how, and you will be treated the same way a violent felon would be treated. Its a bad system, but its the way it is in this pathetic state.

I would also caution you that it would not surprise me if the strings that secure a gun case might just get snipped off somewhere along the line, making you into an instant criminal, if you chose a case that secured with strings.

Autolycus
February 4, 2008, 04:50 AM
Originally posted by ilbob: I would also caution you that it would not surprise me if the strings that secure a gun case might just get snipped off somewhere along the line, making you into an instant criminal, if you chose a case that secured with strings. Can you elaborate on this part?

ilbob
February 4, 2008, 10:22 AM
I would also caution you that it would not surprise me if the strings that secure a gun case might just get snipped off somewhere along the line, making you into an instant criminal, if you chose a case that secured with strings.

Can you elaborate on this part?
There are certain parts of the state where it is not unheard of for evidence to be fabricated to support a weak or non-existent case. It would not be all that hard to snip the strings off a gun case secured with strings to support a contention that the gun was not securely encased.

You have to remember that once you are in the system in certain areas, the only thing that matters to the system is doing whatever it has to do to convict you.

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