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Can You Have Your Gun in the Car if You Have a FOID Card?

Posted on behalf of Donahue & Walsh, P.C. | March 25, 2024

Like all states, Illinois respects an individual’s Constitutionally protected right to bear arms. However, each state has its own laws in place regarding gun owners’ obligations and responsibilities, and Illinois is no exception. One of the state’s primary requirements is for all gun owners who are Illinois residents to carry a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card. Understanding these laws can help you remain a responsible gun owner and avoid legal issues.

What Is a FOID Card?

A FOID card is a requirement for Illinois residents to acquire or possess firearms, firearm ammunition, stun guns, or tasers within the state. To obtain a FOID card, Illinois residents must complete an online application and pay a $10 fee. The FOID card is valid for 10 years.

Legal Requirements for Transporting Firearms in a Vehicle with a FOID Card

Illinois regulates the possession, transfer, and transportation of firearms through four statutory sections: the Criminal Code, the Wildlife Code, the Firearm Owner’s Identification Act, and the Firearm Concealed Carry Act.

When transporting a firearm in a vehicle, a person with a valid FOID card must ensure that the firearm is:

  • Broken down in a state that renders it non-functioning; or
  • Beyond the immediate access of any individual; or
  • Unloaded and stored within a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container; or
  • If you have a valid Illinois Concealed Carry License, carried or possessed in accordance with the Firearm Concealed Carry Act

Transporting Ammunition

A FOID card is required to possess ammunition legally in Illinois. The state does not regulate the location of the ammunition being transported, including loaded magazines, if you are in lawful possession of the firearm and transporting it according to regulations. However, you should avoid storing a loaded magazine in the firearm’s magazine well or ammunition in a revolver’s cylinder during transport.

Interactions with Law Enforcement

When interacting with law enforcement officers during a traffic stop or investigative stop, FOID cardholders or those with a valid Concealed Carry License must:

  • Disclose possession of a concealed firearm or present the license upon the officer’s request
  • Identify the location of the concealed firearm
  • Permit the officer to safely secure the firearm during the stop

Local Ordinances and Firearm Restrictions

Illinois’ Unlawful Use of Weapons Act does not prevent local ordinances from banning firearms in certain communities. As such, you should check with local municipalities regarding their firearm laws when transporting guns through their communities to ensure compliance.

Contact Donahue & Walsh, P.C.

While a FOID card carrier may transport a gun in their vehicle, it is crucial that they adhere to the relevant restrictions under Illinois and local laws. If you are facing legal issues connected with having a firearm in your car, the experienced attorneys at Donahue & Walsh, P.C., can help stand up for your rights and liberties. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can assist with your firearms case.

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