Chicago MDW Layover with pistol


My family and I have made several trips with my EDC. This time, however, we are going through Chicago Midway. We are leaving Grand Rapids (GRR) with a layover in Chicago (MDW) to Bozeman (BZN). Will the layover in Chicago be an issue? Everything I have read says I should be fine. I am looking for a more definite answer.

Has anyone actually been laid over at MDW for a few hours with their EDC checked? Any legal sources for this?

I appreciate all your help in advance.


Welcome to the community @MackNCheesee

I have had layovers in Chicago pretty much every time I have gone through there. Usually an hour to 5 hours longer than expected.

If you have legally checked your firearm according to TSA and airline procedures you shouldn’t have any issues as long as the baggage remains in the airlines hands. The one potential issue I could see arising is if your flight gets canceled and for some reason they transfer your luggage back to you while you are waiting to arrange another flight and potentially spending the night in a hotel. Then you would need to follow Chicago’s rules for totting around a firearm which I would imagine are unnecessarily complicated and restrictive.

Usually in those cases I believe the airline still hangs on to the luggage or you could ask them to do so. But that significantly increases the odds of the luggage getting misplaced for a long period of time or forever. I had a bag lost by an airline for about a month before they finally tracked it down.

In my opinion flying in this country is better avoided whenever possible. But odds are everything will go reasonably well on your trip🤞


@Shamrock Thank you. I know about not taking a bag back in Chicago if they cancel the flight. If I follow the TSA rules and can carry in the state I leave and my final destination - I’m good?

I plan on leaving the bag checked and letting the system work it to my connecting flight. I also plan to use a tracker in my bag.


I have checked a handgun at Chicago Midway and also Chicago O’Hare probably 30 times.

Illinois isn’t so terrible, considering.

Bring a handgun with magazines no greater than 15 round capacity and there is no issue checking them at the airport. This isn’t like NY or NJ.

If you can carry in your home state you can have it loaded and concealed in your car even.


What they said :point_up::point_up::point_up:Hello and welcome @MackNCheesee

1 Like

That is a good idea. Wish I had done that! Still can’t figure out how they misplaced my bag for so long since one of the three tags I had put on it with my contact info, home address and destination was still attached.

You should be good to go, especially since you are just passing through.

1 Like

Oh yeah, tracker in bag (Apple AirTag is what I use)

Midway lost my bag with a handgun in it once. 2018 this was. I flew from ATL to MDW, and my bag wasn’t there. I got picked up from Chicago and we drove to a suburb of Minneapolis.

The next day they Uber’d my bag and dropped it off at the front door of where I was staying outside Minneapolis. This surprised me because I told them as I reported it not present in Chicago that it had a firearm. The gun didn’t bother them at all, it’s just luggage that didn’t get off the plane, they’ll bring it to me as they normally would…and they did. Was annoying but I travel a lot so I am well aware that one should bring at least one night’s everything in their carry on in case this happens. It does mean I didn’t have my own gun for the night but my ride was armed so there was that


I get asked similar questions at work quite frequently. My standard answer is to express ship your firearm (both directions) licensed FFL to licensed FFL. Yes, it is inconvenient and will cost a little (calling FFLs at your destination, in advance, can save you a barrel of money), but at journey’s end you will still have your firearm. One downside is that you must be legally able to own/possess that firearm at your destination(s) jurisdiction.

So I will be fine just passing through. I was mostly searching for people have done it regularly.

I would love to be able to do this but don’t have the time.

@MackNCheesee Welcome to the community!


My dad before he passed away would mail me his guns through the USPS. The post office said it was okay but I would check first. Maybe get an FFL guy to mail it for you.

You cannot, as a private party (none-FFL), ship a handgun via USPS. Rifle or Shotgun only

1 Like