Can I Carry a Crossbow in My Car – A Professional’s Answer

 In the US, using and carrying crossbows is regulated by laws. We have asked professionals to answer, “Can I carry a crossbow in my car.”

Can I Carry a Crossbow in My Car – An Expert Guide

US gun laws are already controversial and often confusing for many. States have their rules and regulations on top of national laws. The same goes for the bows as well. However, several states prevent crossbow usage in seasons other than the hunting seasons; it is not permitted in some places.

Therefore, I, with my fellow archer, Luka, checked the crossbow laws and their implications for crossbow transportation. We found interesting tidbits. So can I carry a crossbow in my car? Yes, you can take a crossbow in a vehicle. However, you must keep it inside the cage, unstrung, or in the vehicle’s trunk. Still, there are several issues to reckon with. Let’s check.

04 Reasons: Why Carrying a Crossbow is Regulated by Laws

So can I carry a crossbow in my car? You might be surprised by the answer. And wonder why there are legal rules and regulations for taking a bow. The reasons are listed below.

Safety Concerns

Crossbows are potent weapons. A crossbow can cause serious harm to humans and property. For humans, the safety concern becomes more critical as a crossbow can kill a person. So, it is essential to handle it carefully while carrying the bow in your car is vital.

Concerning this, there are laws for crossbow carrying to ensure public safety and accident prevention.

Potential Danger

When a crossbow is in the wrong hand, a person with a crossbow with some evil intentions threatens public security. Following this, crossbow-carrying laws regulate how one person can carry this weapon, restricting any sudden draw in the case of criminal activities. 

For example, if there is no law, a criminal can carry a cocked crossbow in the car and easily use it for mugging, threatening, etc.

Restricting Emotionally Driven Decisions

Well, every human being is not the same; some of them are hot-headed. This kind of person quickly gets into road rage and harms himself and others. Imagine an angry person carrying a loaded crossbow in their car and arguing with another driver. 

There is a higher possibility that the person will use the crossbow to solve the argument on the spot! But if the crossbow is in the case or inside the car’s trunk, then the time required to reach the weapon can assist the person in calming down and giving the decision a second thought. 

For this reason, firearm shops do not sell weapons promptly; they usually take 24-48 hours to deliver the weapon.

Government Regulations

Citizens’ well-being is central to the government’s duty. Following this, the US government has examined various research, witnessed the worst cases, etc., regarding carrying bows. The government has imposed common-sense laws for taking a crossbow in the car by evaluating all the circumstances. It can prevent unwanted occurrences.

Why People Carry a Crossbow in Their Car

Crossbow owners move their choicest hunting weapon on many occasions. We have listed those reasons in the following section:

  • If the hunting season is ongoing and the hunting spot is not accessible by foot, you must carry the crossbow in your car.
  • On long-haul drives, many take crossbows in their cars to feel safe driving through interstate highways. This scenario applies more to people with a passion for archery and those who dislike firearms.
  • Crossbow enthusiasts transport their crossbows to participate in recreational activities such as target shooting or competitive archery.
  • In states with strict firearm regulations, people used to carry crossbows in their cars to feel safe. It becomes a tool of self-defense in many life-threatening situations.
  • If you are going to your cabin in the woods, having a crossbow is more than essential. It becomes a vital tool against predators, fishing, etc. Following this, people carry their crossbows inside the car while driving from the city to the wood cabin.
  • There are some die-hard fans of archery. Archery is a crucial part of their lives. Hence, these people never part with their bows. They always carry it, even when traveling from one place to another.

What Law Says about Carrying a Crossbow in a Car

The national law states that you can carry a crossbow in your car. But you cannot do it if the weapon is in the cocked position. For this, follow any of the below-listed approaches.

  • First, purchase a bow case if you go somewhere with your crossbow. Dismantle all the crossbow parts and put them in the slots appropriately. However, some bow cases on the market allow you to carry a fully functional crossbow.
  • Though the above approach is the safest for your bow, you can unstring it and take it in your car.
  • Also, you can keep the fully functional crossbow in your car’s trunk to take it from place to place.

Statewide Laws Regarding Carrying a Crossbow in the Car

Below is a comprehensive table containing data on carrying a crossbow inside the car in ten significant states.

State Crossbow carrying law
Colorado Can take during gun season
Florida Can carry to go to respective zones
Idaho No license is required to carry
Illinois Legal to carry in archery seasons
Nevada Standard laws applied
New Jersey Standard laws applied
New York Must check with authority before taking the crossbow with you in a drive
Ohio Can carry legally in archery seasons
Oregon Illegal to move and use
Tennessee Legal to have any time
Washington Must check with authority before taking the crossbow with you in a drive


Must-consider Factors to Carry a Crossbow in a Car

  • Follow the guidelines even if you just travel with the crossbow for a few miles. A violation can make you face some legal consequences.
  • Carrying a loaded crossbow is also dangerous for you.
  • If you put the crossbow in the car’s truck, ensure that it won’t shake while the car is running, restricting any damage to the crossbow.
  • Use a bow case if you are weak at bowstringing and unstringing. It will save you time and effort while eliminating the chance of having a low-powered crossbow.
  • Before purchasing a bow case, check that it matches the bow’s parts.



What are the types of hunting accidents?

Civil hunting accidents could be intentional or negligent. So the lawsuit is assault or battery if a hunting accident involves no death. Assault and battery are both intentional acts and deserve punitive actions.

Some states argue that firearms are fatal. And no amount of your carefulness can justify death.

Who is responsible for crossbow accidents?

Either the crossbow shooter or the manufacturer is responsible for any mishaps in the hunting ground or elsewhere. But the manufacturer is liable only when you can definitely prove product defects.

Otherwise, you will be charged with the crime. If there is no death, you could face fines and jail time. For fatalities, there could be second-degree manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.

What are crossbow bolts carried in?

Quiver is your go-to crossbow bolt carrier. This pouch stores crossbow arrows. However, you may carry it in multiple ways. Archers put it on the belt, on the back, on the bow, or on the ground.

How can I carry my crossbow in the wild?

Professional archers carry crossbows hanging from their belts by belt hooks through a foot stirrup. However, many experts prefer it on their backs hung across a hook through a foot stirrup. Else, they take it alongside one shoulder with a face-pointing lock mechanism.

Final Thoughts

Carrying a crossbow in your car is a convenient way to transport this mighty weapon for hunting, self-defense, or recreational activities. Hence, can I carry a crossbow in my car? As you already know, you can bring it by adopting some protective measures.

Lastly, we would like to mention two more things. First, understand the national and state laws to carry a crossbow in your vehicle. Second, always take adequate precautions while handling a crossbow.

Also, you must move it with care and responsibility to prevent unwanted accidents and ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.


We are OutdoorLoops , a group of outdoor enthusiasts who love the thrill of the hunt. We believe in preserving our natural resources and we enjoy spending time outdoors with family and friends. We are passionate about the outdoors and the experience of hunting. Our goal is to provide an enjoyable and educational hunting experience for our guests.

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