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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Guns, Drugs & E-Cigarettes - Handout and Q&A

Last Friday's session on "Guns, Drugs & E-Cigarettes" was a great success, and we had a lot of really good questions from our city manager attendees.  For those who could not attend, but are riveted by this topic, you can access our PowerPoint presentation on the ILCMA website here.  I've summarized some of the questions/answers below:

1.  Can a municipality prohibit its employees from carrying a gun to work?

Most buildings and property where municipal employees work are already covered as "prohibited areas" under the new state concealed carry law.  That means that employees are already prohibited from carrying handguns into municipal buildings by operation of state law.

2.  But, what about municipal employees who work outside of municipal buildings, like building inspectors or public works employees?

If those employees are traveling to work sites in municipal vehicles, those vehicles are "municipal property" that falls in the statutory prohibited area under the state law.  However, if those employees use private vehicles to travel to work sites, then arguably they can carry a handgun while at work unless the municipality has enacted a policy that states otherwise.  We believe that municipal employers do have the authority to regulate the actions of their employees while they are on-duty, including enacting restrictions on concealed carry during work hours.  

3.  Are e-cigarettes subject to Illinois' smoke-free law?

State law does not specifically mention e-cigarettes as "smoking" that would fall under the state restrictions. However, municipalities may adopt their own restrictions on use of e-cigarettes, like Chicago has done.

4.  Can we prohibit our police officers from using medical marijuana?

The state statute authorizing medical marijuana already prohibits police officers and firefighters from being prescribed medical marijuana.  We believe that municipal employers can go further, and prohibit other employees from use of medical marijuana. 

These are just a handful of the great questions asked by attendees on these three very new legal issues for municipalities.


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