Road Trip Firearm Transport?


June 15, 2004, 08:23 AM
I am going to be taking a road trip next week and I will be going through Illinois but I have no planed destination in Illinois. My question is would there be any problems with taking a handgun and my AR-15. I prefer not to travel “sheep style”. I plan to keep everything locked up in the trunk of my car on the road and in the room at night. I will most likely be through the following states: IN, IL, WI, MN, SD and MO. Is there anything I should be looking out for or anything I’m forgetting?

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June 15, 2004, 08:32 AM
I checked packing .org for Illinois regs. They have NO checked beside gun friendly peacable carry laws. That may mean any number of things but you might want to look for yourself.

When I drive thru a state I am sketchy on peacable carry-wise, I call the Hwy Patrol and see what they have to say. Most have been down right friendly but Ill has a bad rep for being anti.

Of course, whatever the HP says has no meaning regarding LE in the metro areas you will be driving thru.

Possibly other's can add something more.

June 15, 2004, 08:33 AM
When I travel through states that do not recognize my home state CCW permit I usually do so on a hope that nothing happens. I try not to spend the night in them. I set the cruise control to the speed limit and drive very defensively. I hope that being an average guy with wife and kids in tow any LEO who I would meet would either be understanding or would not even have a clue that I was carrying.

I know that does not answer your questions, but in most cases there is no set answer for these questions.

June 15, 2004, 08:53 AM
I will be keeping the handgun locked up in a hard case with the ammo and the ammo for the AR, but I do not have a locking hard case for the AR. Why is info on this type of thing so unclear? It almost seems that the anti-states do everything they can to trip up the law abiding citizens and turning a blind eye to the bad guys. Thanks for the rapid responses.

June 15, 2004, 09:15 AM
In ILL, you had better have your firearms in your trunk, locked in a case and UNLOADED with the ammo stored in a separate container. If you don't have a trunk, the firearms had better be somewhere unaccessible from the passenger compartment of your vehicle. Don't mistake Ill for a gun-friendly state - it isn't. If you get pulled over by their highway patrol and they find a gun violation, I hear you are toast.

I know Chicago has even tougher laws and East St. Louis may be as well so be careful if traveling through either of those cities.

It has always been a concern of us here in western KY where we border MO, IL, TN, and IN. Missouri has some restrictions but IN and TN have CCW reciprocity with KY so there aren't any real issues. With IL, if we just need to hop across the river for a quick trip, we have to remember that the loaded pistol we have makes us a felon over there. Its amazing how just crossing a river can turn one into a criminal :scrutiny: .

June 15, 2004, 09:50 AM
If everything is unloaded, in a case, and in the trunk, you'll have no problems in Illinois, unless you're in cook county (i.e. Chicago). I don't think it's illegal to transport a firearm though Chicago, but you don't want to deal with Chicago PD if they see you have a gun. Actually, being from out of state would probably smooth things over. But even in Chicago, why would a cop look in your trunk?

I'd secure them as noted, and not think twice about driving through on any interstate highway. Illinois is not friendly toward peacable carry or tranport of loaded or uncased firearms. It is technically legal to carry an unloaded pistol, in a closed case, alongside a loaded magazine, next to you in your car. I do it when I deem it necessary. With a semi-automatic it doesn't take too long to get it loaded. I would not flaunt this, or offer that information to an officer who stopped me for speeding. It is pretty easy for an officer to take the magazine, put it in the pistol, and charge you with carrying a loaded firearm.

Wisconsin has NO concealed carry allowance. Open carry is legal. Check it out to see where a pistol needs to be in order to be considered concealed (illegal) and open.... some "open" states allow a pistol to be on the seat, others require it to be on the dashboard.

Research well, be discreet, be safe,


June 15, 2004, 10:03 AM
I should only be in ILL for only about 3 hours or so and I will be going through on a sunday so traffic should be light.

Should I get a small lockable box for my mags/ammo?

If the mags are in a seperate locked box could they be loaded?

If you didn't notice I'm from Columbus, Ohio about 5 miles from the mall that was slated for the AQ bombing. Now my wife wants to stop by the Mall of America. Three of four years ago I would have never considered taking an AR on vacation but times are different now and my goal is to never be in condition white.

June 15, 2004, 11:52 AM

I don't think you need any container for the ammunition. As long as it is not in the firearm you're legal. The Department of Natural Resources actually informs hunters that it's legal to have a loaded magazine in the same case as the firearm, as long as it's not in the firearm.


How do I transport a firearm through an Illinois community with an ordinance that prohibits firearms?
Illinois' Unlawful Use of Weapons law does not preempt local ordinances from banning firearms. Persons carrying or transporting firearms through such communities could be subject to local firearm ordinances. It is recommended that you contact local authorities regarding their firearm ordinances.

If a non-resident is coming to Illinois to hunt and would like to bring their firearm, how do they legally transport it?
Non- residents must be legally eligible to possess or acquire firearms and ammunition in their state of residence. It is recommended that, in order to be in compliance with all statutes, non-residents transport all firearms:
Unloaded, and
Enclosed in a case, and
Not immediately accessible or broken down in a nonfunctioning state.

Is it legal to have ammunition in the case with the firearm?
Yes, so long as the firearm is unloaded and properly enclosed in a case.

June 15, 2004, 02:43 PM
The 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA) is supposed to protect you as you pass through cesspools like Ill-annoying as long as they are inaccessable and the firearms are regarded as legal in the point of origin of your trip and your destination.

June 15, 2004, 03:30 PM
"It almost seems that the anti-states do everything they can to trip up the law abiding citizens"

imagine that!


June 16, 2004, 08:31 AM
But even in Chicago, why would a cop look in your trunk?

I know this is far from a novel statement, but as frequently posted and stated on this board and elsewhere, you DO NOT have to consent to a search of your vehicle. Barring exceptional circumstances (probable cause to believe you are committing a crime; vehicle is in a horrible accident and rescue workers have to cut it open every which way; etc.) there will not be a valid reason for a Law Enforcement Officer to look in an area of the vehicle not in plain sight.

If you are in a car with a trunk, keep the firearms and ammo and accessories in the trunk, and don't give the police an excuse to perform a search. In other vehicles, in a nondescript, locked case, covered with a tarp, you're not giving them cause to believe you have "contraband". If they ask to search, or "just take a glance in the trunk", or "open the door so I can check something", just say "no". Politely, but firmly.

If they take posession of your keys involuntarily, or open or enter your vehicle without your permission, make it verbally clear that you don't give permission for them to do so, but don't interpose yourself physically. Verbal denial of permission is enough to preserve your fourth ammendment rights (as interpreted, anyway), while physically blocking or restraining an officer who is performing the perceived duties of his office will land you in all sorts of doo-doo. (Also, it's still wise to do the whole 'unloaded in a locked container, with ammo in a separate container' thing whenever in doubt about local or state laws, just in case an exceptional circumstance occurs, and the police have a legit reason to be in your trunk.)

And now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

June 16, 2004, 09:05 AM

Good points.

Instead of trying to improvise, I've memorized the simple statement, "I won't resist you but you don't have my permission to search anywhere without a warrant." And that is said with hands on the top of the steering wheel.


June 16, 2004, 12:59 PM
Wow thanks for the great advice everyone!

I will just keep the AR in it's soft case and keep the mags and pistol in a hard locked case.

You don't think that I'm sort of wierd for wanting to take firearms on a trip do you?

I will be traveling to places I have never been before and it is a long way through urban/rural areas, to me it seems logical but just making sure.

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