On October 11, 2013, the Illinois State Police Department released guidance as to signage required under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act to prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons on private property.
The Act creates a scheme allowing licensees to carry concealed weapons on their person, except in areas specifically prohibited by law. The Act also empowers owners of private property to prohibit concealed firearms on their premises by clearly and conspicuously posting signs at their entrance. Additional background on the Firearm Concealed Carry Act can be found on Seyfarth's Environmental & Safety Law Update blog.
The October 11 Department press release includes a template of an approved sign for use. Consistent with that Act, the 4 inch x 6 inch sign includes a white background, no text (except for a reference to the relevant Illinois Code section), and a depiction of a handgun with a red circle and slash across it. The Department has also proposed administrative rules which would allow the posting of a larger sign if necessary as well as the inclusion of additional language. These rules have been filed with the Illinois Secretary of State.
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The Department will begin accepting applications for concealed carry licenses on January 5, 2014, with issuance of the first permits predicted to occur in the spring. In anticipation of these permits, employers should bear in mind that the law will impact the ability of both their employees and customers to carry concealed weapons on to their premises.
Now is the time to update your policies and procedures to address the new concealed carry law as it impacts your employees and customers. Company policies can be tailored to prohibit weapons on company properties or while doing company business. To the extent your business leases property, management should work with the property owners to agree upon an appropriate policy.