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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Don’t Get Carried Away: Prohibited Areas Under Illinois’ New Concealed Carry Bill

While Ill. H.B. 183 would allow licensed Illinoisans to carry concealed handguns for the first time, this Act (presently under consideration by the Governor) would prohibit the carrying of any firearm in a number of prohibited areas. Many of these areas are properties owned or operated by units of local government.  Prohibited areas include: 

  • schools
  • areas within 1,000 feet of school grounds
  • day cares
  • government buildings
  • jails
  • hospitals
  • public transit vehicles
  • establishments primarily serving alcohol
  • public gatherings requiring a local permit
  • playgrounds
  • parks
  • universities
  • racetracks and casinos
  • stadiums
  • libraries
  • airports
  • amusement parks
  • zoos
  • museums
The proposed Act requires standardized 4’ x 6’ signs approved by the Illinois State Police to be “clearly and conspicuously posted at the entrance” of the prohibited area (except for private residences), but does not identify who is responsible for posting the sign, or whether the failure to post a sign will affect the validity of the prohibition on firearm possession. Since the proposed Act will be immediately effective, units of local government may want to identify the prohibited areas they control, and post their own interim notices prohibiting firearms on the premises, at least until the Illinois State Police adopts rules to produce the required standardized signs.

Additionally, when a municipality issues a permit for a parade, festival, or “any public gathering or special event conducted on property open to the public,” the permittee should be required to prohibit firearms and post the required signs. This “public gathering” prohibition does not apply to persons who must walk through the gathering in order to access his or her residence, place of business, or vehicle.

Finally, municipalities should consider whether the prohibited areas in the proposed Act are the only locations where they would like firearms, other than handguns and assault weapons, to be prohibited.  Although the preemption provisions in the proposed Act generally limit municipalities from adopting restrictions on handguns that would be stricter than those contained in the Act, the Act does not restrict local regulations on other types of firearms. Municipalities may also adopt regulations regarding the possession and ownership of assault weapons, on or before 10 days of the effective date of the law.
Post Authored by Daniel J. Bolin, Ancel Glink


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