In the wake of the 7th Circuit’s decision in Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933 (7th Cir. 2012), in which the Seventh Circuit struck down Illinois’ concealed carry ban as unconstitutional, Illinois enacted the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (PA 098-0063). Illinois is the last state to allow concealed carrying of firearms. Illinois employers should take care to understand the impact of this new law. One resource for Illinois employers can be found at the Illinois State Police’s website — http://www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw/ccw-faq.cfm.
According to the act, employers may prevent employees from bringing concealed firearms into work, but only by posting a “clear and conspicuous” four by six inch sign in the entrance of their property indicating that firearms will not be allowed. Employers must post the sign according to the Act to prevent persons (employees) from entering their premises with a concealed firearm. Even if an employer has a policy forbidding concealed weapons, the Act requires the sign be posted in order for the policy to be effective.
Furthermore, the Act establishes “prohibited areas” where even licensed carriers cannot bring concealed firearms. These prohibited areas include: public and private elementary schools, secondary schools, and universities and colleges, child care facilities, bars or restaurants that earn more than 50% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcohol, public and private health facilities, and gaming establishments licensed by the Riverboat Gambling Act or Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975. Employers are not required to post signs alerting the public that firearms are prohibited, however it is still recommended that they do so.
The Act also contains a parking lot exception. Under the Act, employers cannot restrict employees from having a concealed firearm in the parking lot or even storing a firearm in their locked vehicle; this exception applies even in the so-called “prohibited areas.” Employers therefore must consider the impact of the law on those employees who drive company vehicles, and whether their workplace safety and violence prevention policies must be updated.
The Illinois State Police has until January 2014 to make concealed carry license applications available, and they will have 90 days to make a decision for each applicant.
Many of McMahon Berger’s St. Louis employment law attorneys are licensed in the State of Illinois. We routinely assist Illinois employers with questions about Illinois law, and defending against claims brought in Illinois. If you have any questions concerning the new Firearm Concealed Carry Act, please reach out to us at 314 567 7350.