A: No. Not only can you NOT carry your firearm to Chicago BUT you also CAN NOT carry in the entire state of Illinois. Illinois does not have handgun carry reciprocity with Michigan. If you are planning a trip to Chicago or some other destination in the state of Illinois, I advise that you leave your firearm at home.
Some people believe that under federal law that they can just leave the gun unloaded, encased, and stored in the trunk and everything is OK. The federal law that covers interstate transportation of firearms (18 USC § 926A) is very specific. It states the following:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console."
In short, you can't travel "TO" Chicago or Illinois as your destination because you are not allowed to legally possess your gun while there. However, if you are merely passing through those places on your way to somewhere else, you would be covered if you obeyed the aforementioned requirements. Additionally, I always suggest where practical to NOT travel through states where you do not have handgun carry reciprocity.
You are strongly encouraged to not only conduct your own independent research but to also consult with a competent and qualified attorney before acting upon any information in this article. Laws covering self-defense, lethal force, firearms, and the Michigan Concealed Pistol License and their enforcement are always subject to change due to laws being amended, politics conducted in the Prosecutor's Office, and election results at all levels of government. Ignorance of the law, legally speaking, is not a valid excuse for running afoul of it. The penalties and fines imposed upon violators of firearms related offenses are stiff and severe.
About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.
Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Guns Digest, Tactical-Life, The Truth About Guns, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, The Detroit Examiner, WJLB, WGPR, and the UrbanShooterPodcast.
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