How can I legally transport a firearm on my person or in my vehicle?
Three statutory codes regulate the possession, transfer, and transportation of firearms — the Criminal Code,
the Wildlife Code, and the Firearm Owner’s Identification Act.
Under Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW) in the
, persons who have been issued a valid FOID
card may transport a firearm anywhere in their vehicle or on their person as long as the firearm is unloaded and
enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container. Firearms that are not immediately
accessible or are broken down in a non-functioning state may also be carried or transported under the Criminal
, however, is more restrictive. It requires that all firearms transported in or on any
vehicle be unloaded and in a case.
Because of this, it is recommended that, in order to be in compliance with all statutes, all firearms be
1. Unloaded and,
2. Enclosed in a case, and
3. By persons who have a valid FOID card.
Unless specifically exempted from UUW, a person commits a Class 4 Felony if he or she violates the UUW law
in the Criminal Code (i.e., unlawfully carries on their person or illegally transports a firearm in a vehicle)
one or more of the following aggravating factors apply:
(1) The firearm possessed was uncased, loaded, and immediately accessible at the time of the offense;
(2) The firearm possessed was uncased, unloaded, and the ammunition for the weapon was immediately
accessible at the time of the offense;
(3) Does not have a valid FOID card;
(4) Was previously adjudicated of a felony as a juvenile;
(5) Was engaged in a misdemeanor violation of the Cannabis Control Act or the Controlled Substances Act;
Is a member of a street gang;
(7) Has had an order of protection against them in the last two years;
(8) Was engaged in the commission or attempted commission of
a misdemeanor involving the use of violence
against another person or the property of another; or
(9) Is under 21 years of age and in possession of a handgun, unless the person is engaged in hunting activities
under the Wildlife Code.
What constitutes a legal “case”?
The Criminal Code refers to a “case, firearm carrying 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.”