How to legally travel with their firearms, particularly their concealed carry handguns, is a serious concern for thousands of Illinois residents and visitors. Roughly 1.5 million Illinois residents have a Firearm Owners ID (FOID) card, and over 243,000 now hold a Concealed Carry License (CCL). Nationwide, over 16 million concealed carry permits have been issued. Whether you live in or are a visitor to Illinois, you need to be aware that Illinois still has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the nation. Here are a few tips to help you stay on the right side of the law, whether you live here, are vacationing here, or are just passing through:1. Transporting Unloaded Firearms in Your Vehicle Illinois Residents: You must have in your possession a valid Illinois Firearm Owners ID (FOID) card, and firearms should be unloaded and kept in a case.Visitors: Non-residents who are permitted to possess a firearm in their own state may legally bring their firearms to Illinois (no Illinois FOID card needed), but firearms should be transported as described above.2. Transporting Loaded “Concealed Carry” Firearms in Your Vehicle or on Your PersonIllinois Residents: You must have in your possession a valid Illinois Concealed Carry License in order to have a loaded handgun concealed about your person or accessible within your vehicle. Be aware that there are many places where concealed carry is prohibited, including government buildings, schools, hospitals, and public transportation.Visitors: Non-residents with a valid CCL from their home state may transport a loaded concealed handgun in their vehicle, but they may not remove it from the vehicle. Other than that one exception, Illinois does not honor concealed carry permits from other states. Illinois also does not allow any open carry of firearms. Non-residents without a CCL from their home state should follow the rules in #1 above when transporting firearms in or through Illinois. Additional Note for Both Residents and Visitors: If stopped by the police (e.g., for a traffic violation ) and specifically asked if you are carrying a concealed firearm, you must either verbally disclose that you are carrying a firearm or present your CCL to the officer. At the officer’s request, you must identify the location of the concealed firearm and permit the officer to secure the firearm for the duration of the investigative stop. Any passengers in your vehicle must do the same.3. Concealed Carry License Validity Outside Your Home StateIllinois Residents: You may carry a concealed handgun in the 26 states that honor the Illinois Concealed Carry License, according to the laws of each of those states. Visitors: Illinois does not honor concealed carry permits issued by any other states. Illinois will, however, issue non-resident CCLs to residents of the following states: Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia. If you live in one of those four states and plan to spend a substantial amount of time in Illinois, it might be worth the time and expense for you to obtain an Illinois CCL.Joliet Gun Crimes Defense Attorney Supports the 2nd Amendment If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, a FOID violation, a CCL violation, or any other gun crime in Illinois, seek the advice of a Will County gun charges defense lawyer who will aggressively defend your Second Amendment rights. Jack Zaremba is a well-established criminal defense attorney with extensive experience defending clients accused of violating weapons and firearms laws. Contact the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 at any time for a free consultation.
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