Client Alert: Illinois Concealed Carry Law Is Here
Concealed Carry & Legal Issues For the Workplace
What is the general right granted by concealed carry?
The concealed carry law permits a qualified person to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm (a loaded or unloaded handgun completely or mostly concealed from public view) anywhere in Illinois other than in “prohibited areas.”
- Statutory “prohibited areas” include many governmental areas such as courts, schools and public parks and many privately owned areas such as preschools, schools and amusement parks.
- A required sign must be clearly and conspicuously posted at each entrance to a building, premises, or real property that is considered to be a prohibited area. The approved signage is available for download at: http://www.isp.state.il.us/
- One question that has arisen is whether a building that has a “prohibited area” on one or more floors or only in one part of the ground floor must post at all entrances to the entire building. For example, is an entire professional building a prohibited area if the building has a preschool or day care on one of its floors?
Can a private business make its place of business or workplace a “Prohibited Area?”
A building owner with control of the premises can prohibit firearms on the premises. If a lessee wishes to prohibit concealed carry on its premises, the lessee likely must obtain permission from the lessor/building owner. Obtaining permission from a building owner will require evaluation of a number of legal issues.
- It is not clear whether seeking and/or obtaining permission to post would change any potential questions of liability, and it also is not clear the extent to which anyone who posts must take steps to enforce the prohibition. Presumably, it could be risky to overlook a known violation.
- Unlike other states, Illinois does not have statutory immunity for those who do or do not prohibit/post. Therefore, as with other questions of potential liability, the law in that area is developing.
If I have decided to prohibit concealed carry on my premises, does that include my parking lot?
Only partially. Even if you can prohibit firearms on your premises, a licensee is permitted to carry the firearm with him or her in his or her vehicle in the prohibited area’s parking lot if the firearm is stored in a locked vehicle or locked container out of plain sight. In addition, the licensee can carry the firearm within the immediate area of the vehicle in the parking lot for purposes of storing or retrieving it from the trunk so long as the firearm is unloaded prior to exiting the vehicle.
If for whatever reason I can’t or don’t post for the public, can I nonetheless prohibit my employees from bringing firearms into the workplace?
This question is not addressed in the statute and is therefore unclear. However, an employer should be permitted to have policies and procedures to prevent firearms in the workplace pursuant to its right to control the workplace and its obligations under various laws to provide a workplace safe from recognized hazards. We are assisting many of our clients with revisions to their workplace policies, such as employee handbooks and procedures to address the new environment for handguns in Illinois.
Please contact one of our attorneys listed on the left if you have any questions pertaining to concealed carry in Illinois.