Tag Archives: concealed weapons

Hit the Deck! Reloaded – Revisiting Illinois’ Concealed Carry Legislation

Contributed by Brandon Anderson

It is now official.  As a result of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Moore v. Lisa Madigan (see my December 2012 “HIT THE DECK!blog), Illinois has enacted a comprehensive concealed carry law (Firearm Concealed Carry Act or “Act”).  Last week, Governor Quinn used his veto pen to make various changes to the Act (including but not limited to prohibiting firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol, and prohibiting license holders from carrying more than one firearm at a time).  However, both chambers of the Legislature voted on July 9, 2013 to override the changes.  The Department of State Police now has 60 days to develop the required training program and will begin accepting permit applications within 180 days.

Now, let’s get down to business—figuratively and literally (if you are looking for a summary of the licensing requirements, try: http://www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw/ccw-faq.cfm).  In December 2012 when the Seventh Circuit issued its ruling, the cliff-hanger question was to what extent the legislation will impact a business’s right to maintain a firearm free workplace.  We now have the answer.

The Act specifically provides that “[t]he owner of private real property of any type may prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms on the property under his or her control.”  In order to do so, the owner must post a sign indicating that firearms are prohibited on the property (unless the property is a private residence, in which case no sign is needed).  The Act requires that the signs must “be of a uniform design” as established by the Department of State Police and “shall be 4 inches by 6 inches in size”.  The signs must be “clearly and conspicuously” posted at the entrance of a building or premises.   As additional information regarding the signage and other rules become available, updates will be posted to the ISP’s website

Regardless of a private property owner’s right to prohibit the carrying of a concealed firearm on the property, the Act does indeed carve out an exception that allows license holders to carry a concealed firearm on or about their person or in their vehicles in the parking area of a property that prohibits concealed firearms.  License holders can also store a firearm or ammunition “concealed in a case within a locked vehicle of locked container out of plain view within the vehicle in the parking area.”  The Act goes on to provide that license holders can even carry a concealed firearm in the immediate area outside of their vehicles, but only for the limited purpose of storing or retrieving the firearm within the vehicle’s trunk and only if the firearm is unloaded.

All businesses should be considering three issues at this point.  First, who will be regulating the carrying of concealed firearms in the workplace (i.e. does the business own the property, and, if not, will the landlord be implementing its own policy)?  Second, assuming the business intends to regulate the carrying of concealed firearms, what policy or handbook changes need to be implemented? Third, if the business is going to entirely prohibit carrying concealed firearms on the premises, where can the proper signage be obtained?

Once again, be sure to check back frequently for some additional guidance on these issues…

HIT THE DECK! What the Overturn of Illinois’ Ban on Concealed Carry Could Mean for Employers

Contributed by Brandon Anderson

On December 11, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a decision finding Illinois’s ban prohibiting civilians from carrying concealed weapons to be unconstitutional.

Following Wisconsin’s passage of concealed carry legislation, in 2011, Illinois became the only state with an out-right ban on the carrying of concealed weapons by civilians.  Due in part to its “lone-wolf” status on the issue, there was a significant amount of speculation regarding the likelihood of constitutional challenges to the Illinois concealed carry ban, especially considering the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McDonald v. Chicago, which found Chicago’s handgun ban to be unconstitutional.  The speculation is, to some extent, over.

While the decision in Moore v. Lisa Madigan is a relatively entertaining read, especially for Constitutional law, Second Amendment, and even history nuts, the outcome is simplistic: Illinois’s outright ban prohibiting ordinary citizens from carrying concealed weapons, specifically handguns, outside of their personal property is unconstitutional (there are exceptions to the law: for example, law enforcement and security guards on their way to or from work, as a security guard, not as a Senator, are excepted).  While the ongoing, seemingly centuries old debate of the “true meaning” of the Second Amendment is likely going to continue into the foreseeable future, the same cannot be said for Illinois’s law—the Seventh Circuit stayed its mandate for 180 days to allow the Illinois legislature to draft a new gun law “that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment . . . on the carrying of guns in public.”

Now what? Of course the state may appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.  However, in light of McDonald v. Chicago, the likelihood of success is debatable.  Or, the legislature could pass legislation.  Legislation presents its own intriguing issues.  Outside of the city of Chicago, there is generally support for concealed carry laws by both Republicans and Democrats. Regardless of the fact that Illinois Democrats enjoy majority status in both the House and Senate, will those outside of the Chicago city limits support a restrictive, but constitutional law? 

Regardless of the ultimate legal and legislative outcomes, Illinois employers must start giving some serious thought to their handbooks, workplace violence policies, and weapons policies (if one even exists).  Employers will continue to have an interest in, and should have the right to, restrict or regulate the possession of weapons on their premises and/or during work hours.  However, employers must be aware that states have, on occasions, limited this right.  For example, the Wisconsin law that was passed in 2011 does not allow an employer to prohibit employees from keeping weapons, such as a loaded handgun, in their vehicles, even if parked in or on the employer’s parking lot. 

Be sure to check back for an update on this issue within the next 180 days…