Here in Illinois, the new “Concealed Carry” law has stirred up a lot of controversy. The reality is that it is no longer part of the firearm debate. Instead, it’s merely the extension of laws that have already swept the country as Illinois was the last state to legalize the carrying of a concealed weapon (430 ILCS 66).
The Concealed Carry Law in Illinois: Know the Basics
- Definition: A concealed firearm is defined as a handgun – loaded or unloaded and carried (1) on or about a person completely or mostly concealed from view of the public or (2) on or about a person within a vehicle.
- Licensing: In order to carry a concealed weapon, an Illinois Concealed Carry License is required. But that license does not allow you to carry a firearm anywhere or anytime you please.
- Prohibited Areas: Some locations are prohibited by law from allowing concealed-carry weapons.
Private Property Owners: You Can Prohibit Concealed Weapons
What if a private property owner wants to prohibit firearms from a business or facility that is not a prohibited location? That is possible, in fact. The statute permits the owner of private real property of any type to prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms on the property under his or her control. A private property owner who desires to prohibit the carrying of firearms must clearly and conspicuously post the sign below at the entrance of the building, premises or real property, in accordance with Illinois State Police requirements.
Employers: The Law Allows Concealed Carry Within a Vehicle on Your Premises
How does this impact Illinois employers and their ability to prohibit firearms on their premises? If the employer is the owner of the property, then the required sign must be posted at the entrance of the building or premises. All employers – whether they own private real property or not – should know that the Illinois Concealed Carry law allows firearms in private vehicles brought into their parking lots, even when a sign is properly posted prohibiting this. The law provides that, even on property with a properly posted sign, a licensee “shall be permitted to carry a concealed firearm on or about his or her person within a vehicle into the parking area and may store a firearm or ammunition concealed in a case within a locked vehicle or locked container out of plain view within the vehicle in the parking area.”
Tenants: Integrate Your Concealed Carry Policy with That of Your Landlord
Tenants should review their lease terms and conditions with regard to their premises to ensure that the landlord’s concealed carry policies are consistent with their own. In the event a landlord elects not to prohibit firearms in the entire building or premise, tenants should obtain permission to post the no-firearm signage at their individual entrances. If you have more questions, the ISP FAQ Page is a great resource.
Bottom Line? Become Informed and Proactive – Before an Incident Stirs Up a Legal Issue
First of all – and I have to say this: the information contained herein is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. I need to emphasize that these materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Second, with that out of the way, the bottom line is that, in the end, whether you are a private property owner, an employer or a tenant, you need to understand your options and think through their implications for your security risk management posture. Pay close attention to areas such as your policies and procedures and their alignment with those of other stakeholders as well as to monitoring, enforcement, training and awareness.
This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or advice.