Illinois Concealed Carry Law Creates Liability Concerns for Local Business Owners

On July 9, 2013, Illinois became the 50th state to pass a concealed firearm carry law. The Firearms Concealed Carry Act requires that all people carrying a concealed firearm on their person must first register for a Concealed Carry License. This law provides exceptions, prohibiting the carrying of a concealed arm in public places such as bars, schools, playgrounds, government buildings and medical facilities. It also allows certain local property owners the right to decide to post “no-guns” signage on their properties. The power that this law gives local property owners may have significant impact on business law and liability in Illinois.

Illinois Concealed Carry LawAfter the passing of the law, many local Illinois business owners believed that they could simply post signage prohibiting the carrying of firearms on their premises. In reality local business owners will not be able to determine whether a concealed firearm can be carried at their business, as this right is given to the property owner of the business space. A business owner also cannot prohibit his or her employees from keeping firearms in cars that are located in the parking lot of their business. Most significantly is the fact that the Illinois law, unlike other state laws, does not provide an immunity provision intended to protect local business owners from liability from possible issues that may arise from the property owner’s decision to post, or not post, no guns allowed signage.

Under the law certain property owners can determine whether their space will be one in which concealed firearms can be carried. The issue that remains is what sort of policy will be adopted by the property owner, and what say local business owners renting space will have on the policy instituted by property owners. As a result, local business owners and property owners, especially those whose revenue is 50 percent or more derived from alcohol sales, will have to work together in order to structure policies that are both good for business and do not violate the new concealed carry law. Because no immunity provision is included in the law, it remains to be seen whether local business owners will be held liable for the effects of the policies adopted by the property owners from whom they they rent.

The Firearms Concealed Carry Act has left many questions that local business owners will need to have answered. Mainly is the issue of whether business owners who rent space will be held liable for issues that arise out of a property owner’s decision to allow or not allow concealed firearms at their commercial space. The business law attorneys here at The Gierach Law Firm in Naperville, Illinois are always available to answer any questions local business or property owners may have about the effects of this new law.