According to Illinois’ recently passed legislation regulating concealed weapons, schools must display a sign depicting a black gun with a red slash through it—something that some administrators find more disturbing than necessary.
Illinois became the last state in the country to pass a concealed carry law, approved last summer in response to a federal court order. House Bill 0183 mandated that guns aren’t allowed in schools, churches, government agencies, and liquor stores—and that those places must post 4-by-6-inch stickers of the “no guns allowed” symbol to remind conceal carry permit-holders of that fact.
But some school administrators worry the sign will only give students, parents, and teachers the wrong idea, according to the Southtown Times.
“One of my biggest concerns as a principal is safety and security,” Tinley Park High School Principal Theresa Nolan said. “It is bothersome to have to post a sticker of a gun that says, ‘Hey, folks, leave your guns at home.’”
“I think the general public will be alarmed by it and wonder if people have been allowed to bring guns to school in the past,” she said, adding that in 22 years at the school, “I have no knowledge of guns ever being in this building.”
Superintendent John Byrne called the sticker “a sad editorial on humanity,” but said the sticker shock was worth it if it made schools less safe.
“The No. 1 thing we do for kids in general is keep their school safe. We don’t want schools to become like airports but we should make some reasonable efforts. If it’s reasonable to tell people this is a safe, no-gun zone, then we’ll do it,” Byrne said.
While the stickers are required in schools, business owners can also post the sticker if they choose. Businesses have the right to decide whether or not to ban guns on their premises, and can print off the no-guns sign from the police department’s website if they want to erase any doubt in their customers’ minds.