With Illinois citizens now allowed to apply for permits to carry concealed firearms, business and property owners who do not want guns in their place of commerce must follow a series of steps to keep them out.
“Business owners have the ability to post a sign informing permit holders,” Illinois State Police Sgt. Matt Boerwinkle said. “All they have to do is post a sign that is conspicuously displayed. They can print it out online.”
The sign must be four inches tall, six inches wide and contain a reference to the law in the lower right hand corner, according to Boerwinkle. Larger signs are allowed at the business’s discretion.
“The Illinois State Police has proposed rules permitting a larger sign if the property owner feels the entrance to their building, premises or real property requires one,” Boerwinkle said. “The four by six inch sign must be visible somewhere on the larger sign. The rules proposed also permit the larger sign to include additional language.”
The state’s new conceal carry law already prohibits guns in places like schools, school parking lots, bars, stadiums, courts, government buildings, hospitals, mental health facilities, public playgrounds and a number of other places. For a complete list click here.
Both state Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) and state Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood), who voted against the bill because it was not sufficiently restrictive, are encouraging people to take a look at their rights under the new law.
“People need to be aware of laws that allow people to keep guns,” Drury said. “They need to take appropriate steps to comply with the law and keep their premises gun free.”
Morrison, who like Drury encourages people to study the new law, is taking steps to educate the business community. She will host a meeting with the Deerfield Bannockburn Riverwoods Chamber of Commerce at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Deerfield Village Hall where business owners and operators can learn more. She knows there is some uncertainty.
“As I understand it, a property owner who doesn’t want guns can put up a sign,” Morrison said. “If he doesn’t take action the decision can be made by the shopkeeper.”
Both Drury and Morrison want more specific legislation on the point. Drury anticipates the Illinois General Assembly will take action. “I agree,” Morrison said “I think there will be a lot of legislation under this act.”
Should the holder of a conceal carry permit brings a run into a business or displaying a no gun sign, the person can be charged with a misdemeanor and lose their permit, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune. Disobeying the sign at a school or other place specifically prohibited under the law can lead felony charges.