Illinois is undergoing a Second Amendment revolution now that Illinois lawmakers overturned Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of the concealed carry bill. Local governments are scrambling to prepare for the new concealed carry law. Local business owners might also have to review their policies.
Business owners are still allowed to control whether or not guns are allowed on the premises, but they are going to have to take extra precautions to keep businesses gun free. Business owners must present a 4-by-6-inch sign “clearly and conspicuously” near the entrance of the business in order to create a gun free zone.
This is generally bad news for pro-gun control business owners. Placing a sign at the front door could simultaneously ward off gun-toting customers and attract armed criminals hoping for an easy target. The only real alternative is for a business owner to cave under the economic and policitcal pressure by reversing his store’s gun stance.
Business owners might not be thrilled about the new law, but gun owners have plenty to celebrate about. The new law also allows licensed gun owners to carry a weapon in the “immediate area surrounding” their vehicles, and they may also store guns in their cars, provided that the weapon is unloaded and the car is locked. So, even if a business owner bans guns at a business, the parking lot might still be brimming with firearms.
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All of this shifts the burden onto the shoulders of business owners. Previously, a pro-gun control business owner could simply sit back and enjoy a gun-free place of business. Now, however, business owners must go out of their way to respond to the new law. There will undoubtedly be a plethora of gun-welcoming businesses once the new law goes into effect, though it is unclear how many will be from gun-loving business owners, and how many will be from reluctant business owners who do not want to post a “no guns” sign.