The Illinois legislature enacted the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (“Act”) on July 9, 2013, overriding the Illinois Governor’s veto of the Act. The new law permits licensed citizens in Illinois to carry concealed firearms. The applications for the concealed carry license are set to become available by January 2014.
To prohibit individuals who have a license from carrying concealed firearms in the workplace, the Act requires property owners to “clearly and conspicuously” post a 4 x 6 inch sign at the entrance of the building that indicates that firearms are prohibited on the property. Even if an employer has a policy that prohibits firearms in the workplace, without a sign that conforms to the Act, an employer cannot prevent an employee from entering the workplace with a concealed firearm.
The Act lists over 23 locations where licensed individuals cannot carry concealed firearms. The prohibited areas include:
- Preschools, child care facilities, public and private elementary schools or secondary schools, university-related property;
- Amusement parks, zoos, museums, public libraries, real property or parking areas under the control of an airport;
- Any building and parking area under the control of a court or of a local government; and
- Any bus, train, or form of transportation, and any building, real property, and parking area under the control of a public transportation facility paid for in whole or in part with public funds.
The Act prohibits employers from restricting employees from carrying a concealed firearm on or about his or her person within a vehicle into the parking area — at the workplace or the above prohibited areas — and storing a firearm or ammunition within a locked vehicle.
Even though it will be several months until the applications for the concealed carry license are available, employers should evaluate their policies concerning weapons, firearms, and safety. If you have any questions about these issues, please be sure to contact your employment counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.