Illinois Releases Sample Sign That Private Property Owners May Use To Ban Concealed Weapons On Their Property

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As reported previously here, in July, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act was enacted in Illinois authorizing individuals with the right to carry concealed weapons in public provided they obtain a permit from the Illinois Department of State Police (DSP). Under the law, firearms are still prohibited in certain areas, such as public schools, health facilities and child-care facilities. The law also allows private property owners to prohibit firearms on their property (except in parking areas), provided the owners post signs stating that the carrying of firearms is prohibited at entrances.  The DSP, which is charged with implementing the concealed carry law, issued a sample sign last week that  may be used by property owners who are permitted to ban concealed weapons on their premises.  The DSP's sample sign is four by six inches and contains no text other than a reference to the statutory provision authorizing the sign. The DSP's proposed regulations on the signage requirements under the concealed carry law, once finalized, may permit larger signs in some circumstances. Concealed carry permit applications will not be available until January 1, 2014 and, once applications are submitted, DSP has up to 90 days thereafter to approve them. Therefore, as a practical matter, if private property owners want to ban the carrying of concealed weapons, they should consult the regulations on signage as well as the DSP's sample sign in preparing legally sufficient signs to that effect, and have those signs on display by January 1, 2014. While the DSP has yet to issue comprehensive regulations on the concealed carry law, the plain language of the statute does not affirmatively permit employers who lease private property to bar concealed weapons.  Therefore, employers who lease private property and who are interested in banning concealed weapons on their premises, should consult with the owner of the property to encourage adoption of such a policy (and, if they are successful, reinforce the owner's policy banning concealed weapons in employee handbooks as well as on employee bulletin boards).  The Laner Muchin newsletter will publish a detailed article on employers' rights and obligations under the Concealed Carry law in the coming weeks. In the interim, we will continue to keep you updated as new developments in this law emerge.