How can you carry a gun in your car in Illinois if you don’t have an Illinois License to Carry? That depends on whether you are an Illinois resident or not.
First of all, non-residents who possess a valid concealed Carry Permit in their home state are allowed to transport a loaded firearm in the car. In other words, non-residents who are licensed to carry in their home state are allowed to “carry” but only in their car. Illinois doesn’t recognize Concealed Carry Permits from other states beyond that.
What if you don’t have a permit? Well, whether you are a non-resident or a resident, the law gives you three options for having the gun in your car.
Your gun is being transported legally in your car if:
1) It is broken down into a non-firing state. So if you disassemble the gun, you are fine.
2) It is “not immediately accessible.” This one is really vague and open to interpretation. Most police officers will use the “out of arm’s reach” as the rule of thumb for what constitutes “not immediately accessible,” but don’t count on that. Many police officers will tell you that this means it must be in the trunk, though that is not actually what the law says.
3) The third option is very clear, thanks to the Diggins decision of the Illinois Supreme Court. It is legal to possess the firearm in your car as long as it is unloaded and enclosed in a container. You can have a loaded magazine “WITH” the gun, but it must not be “IN” the gun. A loaded gun is a felony, so don’t put the magazine in the gun without a license to carry. And remember, the container must be closed.
So what is a container? A Glove box or center console both qualify.
So, if you are an Illinois Resident and don’t have a License to Carry from Illinois, keep the gun unloaded and in a container. Then, get yourself to a Concealed Carry class and get licensed!
In Illinois how can you carry a gun in your car? What are the gun laws in Illinois for vehicles? What are the Illinois laws for transporting a gun in your car?
The interesting thing is that in Illinois, a non-resident with a valid CCW permit from their home state has more rights to carry a gun than an Illinois Resident without a License. That is because, while Illinois does not recognize the CCW permits from any other state for carrying in general, it does allow non-residents with a valid ccw permit from their home state to carry a loaded, concealed gun in their car in Illinois. If an Illinois resident carries a loaded gun in their car without an Illinois License to Carry, it is a felony.
More info on Illinois Law for Loaded Guns in the Car – What is Allowed and What is a Felony?
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