There are many issues raised by Illinois’ new conceal carry law and now that the first batches of licenses are being distributed, the practical questions are coming to light. One issue that people are talking about is the rights of private property owners vs. the rights of individuals to carry a gun. In general, the conceal carry law allows private property owners to prohibit guns on their private property. But in the case of a landlord, that rule appears to be at odds with the rights of tenants. So whose rights are more important? Does one trump the other?
The law itself doesn’t answer the question. It’s likely that the answer could be decided in a lawsuit, where a landlord tries to prohibit guns in individual apartments and a tenant sues based on their constitutional rights and the conceal carry law. The courts might be the ones deciding the issue.
If you rent in Chicago, you might be hearing from your landlord on their new policy, especially if your landlord owns a lot of units. Other landlords might just wait and see or hesitate to address the issue at all. Either way, leases are likely to change with the new law and what comes of the landlord-tenant rights issue.
Aside from landlords, there is little question that a private property owner, such as a business or homeowner, can prohibit guns on their property if they give proper notice. Proper notice means posting a sign that says firearms are not allowed. The law says that the sign needs to be posted in an obvious place. Property owners can’t prohibit visitors from keep their guns in their car in the parking lot, however.
Other states have dealt with conceal carry laws. In fact, all of them have. Illinois is the last state in the country to pass a law allowing people to carry a concealed firearm. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be wrinkles to iron out. I’ll be interested to see what comes of the landlord issue. For now, it’s wait and see. That’s not a great answer, but it’s an honest one.
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