Missteps In Gun Transport Can Lead To Serious Criminal Consequences
Guns are a hot-button issue, and no matter where you stand on the 2nd Amendment, one thing is clear: Gun ownership comes with serious responsibility. One of the most crucial aspects of responsible gun ownership is the proper transportation of your firearms. Many Illinois gun owners face criminal consequences each year for unknowingly breaking the law due to transportation missteps. Don’t let that be you!
Requirements For Driving Through Illinois With A Firearm
If you are traveling by car with your gun, law enforcement cannot make an arrest as long as you have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card (FOID) and any the following are true:
- The gun is broken down and in a non-functioning state; or
- The gun is not immediately accessible; or
- The gun is unloaded and enclosed in a case such as a firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container that completely encloses the firearm.
Non-residents of Illinois who have a valid Concealed Carry License from their home state can travel through Illinois with a concealed firearm as long as the firearm is concealed in a case if the vehicle is left unattended.
If you have a gun in your car and are stopped by law enforcement, you are required to tell the officer that you are in possession of a firearm and provide the appropriate licensure if prompted to do so. You must also inform the officer of the gun’s location in your vehicle and permit the officer to safely secure the gun during the traffic stop.
Penalties For Improper Gun Transport
Without the assistance of an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney, improper gun transport could lead to a Class 4 felony conviction. Class 4 Felonies require a 1-3 year prison sentence and fines of up to $25,000, so it is important to understand the Prairie State’s laws regarding firearm transportation before setting out by car with a weapon. If you are traveling through other states with your gun, do your research – accidental violation of a state’s gun transportation laws is not an excuse that will hold up in court.
If you have been arrested for improper gun transportation in Illinois, speak with an experienced gun crimes defense attorney to ensure that your right to carry is honored and to avoid the consequences of a felony conviction.