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Old May 13, 2012, 10:43 PM   #1
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Gun on Vacation? (By car, no CCW)

Hi y'all,

I'm taking a trip to Minnesota for a family reunion at the end of June. I'll be traveling by car. I live in Ohio and will be traveling though Indiana, Illinois, and then Wisconsin or Iowa.

I've been saving up for my CCW and thought I'd been getting it in early June, but some air conditioning problems took a hit out of my savings (along with saving up for the trip). So it's going to have to wait. There's really no good excuse for me not having it yet, btw.

It's not something I seriously worried about or even seriously considering, but I'm was curious about your thoughts on traveling with a firearm anyway.

Apparently in Indiana, traveling with a firearm (even if unloaded, secure and non-accessible) is not permitted, but there seem to conflicting views on this.

Illinois SPD's website states that non-residents should transport their weapons unloaded and not at-hand. Same seem to goes for Iowa and Minnesota.

I can think of very little reason to carry a gun on my trip, especially since I'll be staying at a hotel. The only thing I can think of is that someone in my family (there will be many people I haven't met there, it's a big family) might be a gun person like me, and it would be something fun to do with them.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on if it's worth it (or if you think it's stupid NOT to take one).


***Danggit, I thought I was in the General forum. Mods, if its necessary to move, close or delete from existence this post. I totally understand. No hard feelings. Sorry for making your job harder. You do a great job***

Last edited by ckpj99; May 13, 2012 at 10:50 PM. Reason: Because I'm dumb
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Old May 14, 2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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if you have a concealed handgun license, you just need to check to see if the states you mentioned reciprocate in the acceptance of the license.

if you don't have one, you need to make sure those states have "travel carry" type laws that allow you to carry while traveling.

it will take a while for them to actually send the license to you once you do take the class and send the paperwork.

aside from that, i don't know the laws in those states so cant help you much more than that. but good luck
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Old May 14, 2012, 07:07 AM   #3
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According to the reciprocity map, your only problem areas are Illinois and Wisconsin. See this:

And as a personal note, I regularly take my firearms with me, shooting is fun for me.

All my weapons are in cases, separated from the ammo, and no weapon (except my personal CCW) is readily available to me from the driver's seat. I also like the ammo in a padlocked, metal container.

Have never been stopped.

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Old May 14, 2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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The Federal Firearms Owners' Protection Act of 1986 guarantees safe passage through all states, under prescribed conditions, no matter what the local laws are.
Assuming, of course, local law enforcement sees it the same way.
For a description of this law and the details, just do a normal web search.
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Old May 14, 2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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The Federal Firearms Owners' Protection Act of 1986 guarantees safe passage through all states, under prescribed conditions, no matter what the local laws are.
Assuming, of course, local law enforcement sees it the same way.
I know the OP is not going here but tell the above to NJ SP. Its all up to the LE that stops you and they feel about the 2nd Amendment as stated by g.w
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Old May 14, 2012, 02:54 PM   #6
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Moved to L&CR.
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Old May 14, 2012, 05:48 PM   #7
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Thanks for the move, moderators.

Just in case there is some confusion. I do NOT have a CCW permit.

The federal transportation laws really clear things up. Thanks!
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Old May 14, 2012, 05:54 PM   #8
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by ckpj99
The federal transportation laws really clear things up.
Please remember that only applies when traveling in an essentially continuous journey between two places where it's lawful to have your guns. If you are spending time in some place where it's not lawful for you to have a gun, that law won't help you.
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Old May 15, 2012, 07:47 AM   #9
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Check out this link... It's the unlicensed traveler's map at

Looks to me like unlicensed car carry is not allowed in any of the states you'll be traveling through...

My advice, get your CCW asap.
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.
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Old May 15, 2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the tips guys. If I do take the gun, I realize it generally needs to be closed up, not loaded, and out of reach. I don't carry a gun on my person now, so I don't plan to while traveling.

I'm leaning toward not taking one at all. I can only think of two reasons for bringing one. One is obviously self-defense if the S really HTF, in which case I'd probably be breaking the law regardless if I was actually in fear for my life. Two is for range shooting with family once I got there, in which case my family will probably have guns.

Sounds like it's safer and more reasonable to keep them in the safe behind my alarmed doors.
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Old May 16, 2012, 11:47 AM   #11
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I know for a fact that non residents of Illinois can legally transport a firearm in state. Here’s what the Illinois State Police web site says:

Non- residents must be legally eligible to possess or acquire firearms and ammunition in their state of residence. It is recommended that, in order to be in compliance with all statutes, non-residents transport all firearms:
1. Unloaded, and
2. Enclosed in a case, and
3. Not immediately accessible or broken down in a nonfunctioning state.

Be advised that this does not allow you to transport a firearm in towns / cities that have restrictions on certain types of firearms or require special permits to possess firearms. If you are passing threw such towns / cities, it would be best to call ahead and find out. Or, drive around these places.
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Old May 20, 2012, 08:00 AM   #12
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First I can only comment on IL law .... the gun must be unloaded, and fully enclosed in a container. The ammo CAN be in the same container, but not in the gun. Usually I travel with my 1911 and 8 fully loaded mags in a hand gun case. This is perfectly leagle, as the mags are not in the gun. As for not immediately access able.... that is covered by the enclosed case, recent court decisions here have said the glove box or center console would even be considered a enclosed container.

We just took a cross country road trip to Vegas from chicago, had that same 1911 and mags under the passanger seat. Only had to load it the 2 times we crashed overnight at a truckstop. Only got stopped once at a checkpoint (to see the grand canyon), they asked if we had any weapons, I answered no of course, no reason for them to know .... no one ever checked.

IMHO bring ur weapon, keep it unloaded but the ammo close and don't draw attention to ur self. Be safe.

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Last edited by Tom Servo; May 20, 2012 at 09:25 AM.
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