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Posted 21 January 2006 - 05:04 PM
Transport Your Gun Legally!
Well it’s getting on towards the fall and the time of the year that many of us lay down our fishing rods and pick up our shotguns and/or rifles so that we might venture out into the woods and add to our larder some meat to go along with the fish we have stored from a successful season of fishing.
Every year I hear stories from outdoor enthusiasts and the nightmares of being cited for what they called “an innocent mistake” on their part, for carrying their firearms in an illegal manner. Just what are the laws governing the transportation of firearms and how will they affect you?
First! Remember that the law is the law it is not the conservation officers job to interpret the law it is his job to enforce it. And, depending whether or not it is an officer from the IDNR or a state, city or county official that has stopped you, the difference in the interpretation of the law could be the difference between a misdemeanor offense and an actual felony. So knowing the law and following it carefully will save you a lot of grief, not to mention the possibility of a fine or even jail time.
Below I have listed the most common “mistakes” and how to avoid them.
The first and probably the most important question is “ How can I transport my firearm legally?” “Three statutory codes regulate the possession, transfer, and transportation of firearms.” These are; the criminal code, the wildlife code, and the Firearm Owners Identification Act. Under the Unlawful use of weapons (UUW) in the criminal code, 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. The Wildlife Code however is more restrictive. It requires that all firearms transported in or on any vehicle be unloaded and in a closed case. Because of this it would be an excellent idea in order to be in compliance with all of the various statutes that your firearm be unloaded, enclosed in a case, and that the person transporting the firearm has a valid FOID card, that should cover all of the bases and keep you out of trouble.
What constitutes a “legal case”? Since we are dealing with the outdoors I will skip the criminal code definition and get right to the Wildlife Code which is much more restrictive of “what is a legal firearm carrying case”? The Wildlife Code defines a 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 device exposed so that it would be immediately accessible.
If I fail to zip up my gun case entirely, will I be guilty of a felony? No, as long as the firearm is unloaded and none of the aggravating factors of the Unlawful Use of Weapons Law are present, but again the wildlife code is more restrictive. The way to avoid any problems is to make sure that your firearm be unloaded and enclosed in a proper case. If you have a gun case with a broken zipper and it does not close properly you will probably be in violation and could or will be cited, spend the money and buy a new case.”
What is immediately accessible? The test is that; “if a reasonable person would conclude that the firearm is located within relatively quick reach”. That of course would be left to the interpretation of the individual officer. If you would have an uncased loaded firearm in your vehicle immediately accessible you would be flirting with a Class 4 Felony… and possible jail time. Does a firearm have to be broken down to be legal? No. But it must be unloaded and encased and the person transporting the firearm must have a valid FOID card. Is it illegal to have ammunition in the case with the firearm? “No, not if the firearm is properly enclosed in a case and the individual possessing the firearm and ammunition is in possession of a valid FOID card.”
There you have it, the basics of transporting a firearm legally in the State of Illinois. If you have any other questions regarding the transportation or carrying of firearms in Illinois or questions about non-resident requirements or even the transportation within the State of Illinois in communities with restrictive gun control laws you can contact; The Illinois State Police at; 1 (217) 524-2525, the FOID office at; 1 (217) 782-7980, www.isp.state.il.us or the Department of Natural Resources at; 1 (217) 782-6431, dnr.state.il.us and they will have all of the other pertinent information on the transportation of firearms that I might have missed here.
Comments to Herman can be sent to ISRA Feedback and will be forwarded to him.
"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." - Thomas Jefferson
Guns have only two enemies - rust and politicians.
1911........Much faster than 911
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Illinois State Police Certified CCW Instructor
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Posted 22 January 2006 - 11:19 AM
Edited by Ugly, 22 January 2006 - 11:19 AM.
Witnessing the Republicans and the Democrats bicker over the U.S. debt is like watching two drunks argue over a bar bill on the Titanic.
Posted 22 January 2006 - 08:28 PM
Only God forgives, our mission is to simply arrange the meeting.
You're a Daisy if you do.
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