Driving Through Illinois with a concealed carry weapon

I am planning a trip from Georgia to St. Louis. My route unfortunately takes me through Illinois, thus my question:
I have a CWL in Georgia and since I know that IL has no reciprocity, I’m wondering if someone could help me clarify IF I can legally travel (drive through) the state of IL with my loaded/concealed carry weapon?
Here’s what I found using USCCA’s reciprocity map web page:

"Non-residents may transport a loaded concealed handgun in a vehicle if they are in possession of a valid CCW permit from their home state. Non-residents from states that allow for either concealed and/or open carry without a license are not required to produce a license provided they are;

Not prohibited under federal law; and
They are eligible to carry in their home state."

Please help me here. It sounds like to me that since Georgia is a constitutional carry state now, I am legally allowed to drive through the state of IL carrying my concealed carry weapon, with or without my CWL (yes, I am legal to own and carry in Georgia).




Illinois IL Concealed Carry Gun Laws: CCL & Reciprocity Map | USCCA(Last Updated 01/03/2022) (usconcealedcarry.com)


Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Illinois? Yes, anyone with an Illinois CCL may keep or carry a loaded or unloaded concealed firearm on or about his or her person. Non-residents may transport a loaded concealed handgun in a vehicle if they are in possession of a valid CCW permit from their home state. Non-residents from states that allow for either concealed and/or open carry without a license are not required to produce a license provided they are;

  • Not prohibited under federal law; and
  • They are eligible to carry in their home state.

[430 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 66/10(h) and Illinois State Police Law Bulletin – August 2018 ]

If non-residents leave their vehicles unattended, they must store the firearm within a locked vehicle or locked container within the vehicle. The firearm (and any ammunition):

  • Must be stored out of plain view within the vehicle; and
  • May be carried in the immediate area surrounding the vehicle only for the limited purpose of storing or retrieving a firearm within the vehicle’s trunk.

[430 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 66/40(e)].


This isn’t just a question to you alone, it’s a question to all, “did you ever consider googling your question before posting?” I ask because most people seem to be incapable of finding answers on their own so they post questions in forums and wait to see if some random person on Earth answers them AND actually answered correctly. Seems silly to post your question to a group that spans the world and hope you get an accurate answer you should act on. Personally, if it were me, I’d Google the question first and seek the answer yourself. Then if I still was unsure, I’d likely contact someone who might actually know like the police department or lawyer in the state in question and ask. Heck, I’d likely do all of that over posting a question on a forum and hope the information was accurate but you do you. For all others, web search can be your friend…use it before you transport weapons across state lines and break any laws.


I think your understanding is correct. My understanding of this, and I deal with it a lot (not a lawyer), is that being a non-prohibited person from a Constitutional carry state does let you have your handgun loaded in your vehicle while in Illinois. Though since you have a GWCL that makes it more clear, seemingly

But do note that this is in vehicle only


Just drive around Illinois. GPS claims it adds 30 minutes to your trip, but it doesn’t when you hit traffic in Nashville and construction where I-24 is shut down to one lane.

Take 24 from Chattanooga towards Nashville. Then Take the 840 loop west toward Memphis, before you get to Nashville.
840 runs out and follow I-40 west to Jackson. Then take state highway 412 to Dyersburg. It’s a 65 mph rd. Then you take 155 across the Mississippi River into Missouri. It’s a straight shot up I-55 to St. Louis.


I DID find an answer. Asked for assistance with interpretation only. I appreciate that a lot of folks won’t do their own research, and while I agree with you that some won’t, this is not the case here. That being said, I thank you for your response


…and take a right after the Piggly Wiggly :grin:


I’ll caution to be careful with interpretation of law that is done by anybody other than an attorney from the jurisdiction in question


Contact the Illinois Attorney General office directly by email, print the response and carry it with you.

I travel through southern Illinois about once a year.

My understanding is that you can carry on your person so long as you are traveling through the state without stopping – gas/bathroom/dining stops excluded. Not overnight or tourist-type things.

You could also contact the State Police office.

I’d avoid Cook county.


I like your post Kckirwan.

I’ve driven a lot, mostly in Illinois, and agree with Barry54, about it not taking too much more time to do so from your route, to avoid IL.

If you really wanna travel in southern IL for other reasons, if “you” leave your vehicle, you may need to unload, and keep firearm in a lock box while in IL; My understanding is “that” is legal if you are legal in your state.

If you are in your car “carrying”, I regret I’m not clear on that; Worth verifying, and even calling the IL State Police to ask, assuming the person you call knows the law.

“In terms of reciprocity, Illinois does not honor CCW licenses from any other state”; per USCCA.

ISP/Police Dept.:

This write up claims you can “carry” CCW while in your car, but not outside of your car:

Hence, still, from your route, go around IL.

Fighting for reciprocity.


I don’t know, asking people with knowledge and experience seems like a pretty good idea to me.


What statute do you get that from?

Illinois doesn’t recognize other states’ permits (does not recognize GA for OP specifically), and the in vehicle exception for those able to legally carry in their home state seems to pretty clearly say in vehicle.

There is FOPA but that is through and for unloaded and locked.

I would definitely not carry on your person in Illinois without an Illinois carry permit.

Unless your attorney in Illinois says otherwise.


I 100% agree. Too many people think they know the law and they are completely mistaken. In fact, just any old attorney won’t do. It should be an attorney who is familiar with gun laws in the state of interest. I guarantee, an attorney who is in general practice won’t have any more of an idea than any of us for another state. He might not even be familiar with gun laws in his own state. You should be willing and SHOULD pay the attorney for his opinion. A horseback opinion isn’t worth the words coming from the lawyer’s mouth. I guarantee, he will pay more attention to his research if he is paid and knows he is liable fort damages if his opinion is ill-founded.

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Do you have a valid CCP from Georgia? If you do you are ok to have it in your car. If not put in the trunk separate ammo and gun put each in a separate container and lock them in trunk.

If you don’t have a trunk. It has to be in a place that is not readily accessable to you.

My question is why do you need to go North to get to Illinois and then South to hit Missouri? To me I won’t go anywhere near a Gun Control State? I’m not giving them a single penny in taxes.



My route is less stressful and less traffic than going through Nashville, Clarksville construction for 20 miles and the unfriendly state of Illinois.
Just put Jackson TN in the gps and change the destination to St. Louis when you reach Jackson if your map reading skills are lacking.


This might help


That is a great law to know, but OP should be able to do more than FOPA traveling through since he has a GA weapon carry license and IL lets you have a handgun loaded in your car with a valid permit/ability to carry in your own state

Pay attention to that video, especially around 5 minutes, you may still be arrested and charged with felonies even if you are legal under that federal law as states (such as NY and NJ) may do that and make you defend yourself in court against those felony charges (affirmative defense)


Be careful if you get pulled over in Illinois. Regardless of what the law says, you can get hemmed up, depending on who the officer is.

I had a good friend lose his Glock forever, that way. The LEO apologized but said he had to confiscate it, but it could be claimed at the station. So my friend went to the station, where he was told they could not return it because he did not have a valid Illinois FOID card. When he asked how to get one, he was told he couldn’t because he was not an Illinois resident.

Could a lawyer have helped him out? Probably, but it would have cost a lot more than the price of that Glock.


I read it on the interwebs.


Welcome back to the Community @Kckirwan.

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