Gone Outdoors

How to Travel With a Gun in Illinois

by David McKinney

So you're traveling across Illinois to hunt deer or come home from a gun show. Whether you're driving or flying, you face the problem of how to legally transport guns in a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the country. In fact, it is illegal for most Illinois residents to carry a concealed weapon. Those driving with guns must properly store weapons to avoid arrest, and anyone flying from an Illinois airport must check in guns and ammunition as luggage.

Obtain a legal gun permit, or Firearm Owners Identification Card, if you want to travel with a firearm. The permit can be obtained at the Illinois State Police website or by going to a store that sells firearms. Purchase a case that is appropriate for your gun.

Remove all the ammunition from your gun. Break down the gun into a non-working state. Place it in your vehicle, preferably your trunk or an out-of-reach area within your car or truck, if you plan to drive with the gun in Illinois. Enclose it in a case, ideally with a fastener, so that no part of the gun is exposed.

Check your unloaded weapon as luggage in a hard-sided, locked container, along with all ammunition, if you are going to fly. Listen for your name in airport announcements because the Transportation Security Administration can inspect your weapon prior to departure, and will not permit you to travel with it if you do not respond to the announcement and unlock the case.

Items you will need
  • Locked gun case (hard-covered if you are flying)

Tips

  • Illinois residents can download a state Firearm Owners Identification Card at www.isp.state.il.us.
  • Check local ordinances in areas where you will be traveling, because several Illinois communities bar possession of guns.

About the Author

David McKinney is a newspaper reporter. He was born in Mattoon, Ill., and graduated Eastern Illinois University with a journalism degree. Since 1995, he has covered Illinois state government, including the rise of Barack Obama and the rise and fall of Rod Blagojevich.

Photo Credits

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