Conceal and carry is now the law in Illinois, but the legislation leaves employers without much information about how it will apply to them. However, the language of the statute gives some helpful information.

The language of the statute indicates that a business may prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms on property under the owner's control. The owner must post a sign indicating that firearms are prohibited on the property. Signs stating that the carrying of firearms is prohibited must be "clearly and conspicuously posted at the entrance of a building or premises." The statute also states that "signs shall be of a uniform design as established by the [Department of State Police] and shall be 4 inches by 6 inches in size. The Department shall adopt rules for standardized signs to be used under this subsection." No such rules are in place at this time.

The statute also provides that employees who have conceal and carry permits that are prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm into the parking area of a prohibited location must be permitted to carry a concealed firearm in his/her vehicle into the parking lot and then may store the firearm (or ammunition) in a case that completely conceals it "within a locked vehicle or locked container out of plain view within the vehicle in the parking area." A "case" includes a glove compartment or console that completely encloses the concealed firearm, the trunk or a firearm carrying box, "shipping box, or other container."

While the law is effective immediately, Department of State Police have six months (180 days) to set up a concealed-carry program before accepting applications. Once an application is received, police have 90 days to approve or reject it. Without Department rules, it remains unclear what signage and/or company policy would comply with the law. 

So for now, what should employers do if they want to prohibit weapons on their property? First, it must be noted that until the Department sets up the program, conceal and carry permits will not be issued. However, if an employer wants to take action now, signage is permitted under the statute. It may be sufficient to simply post signs saying: "No weapons or firearms on (name of property owner and/or employer) property." The signs should meet the size requirements noted above. Stay tuned for further developments.