Thursday, December 12, 2013

New concealed-carry law won't allow you to carry a gun on campus

The new Illinois concealed-carry law that will go into effect on January 1, 2014 will not allow persons with concealed-carry permits to carry firearms on the University of Illinois Springfield or other college and university campuses.

“The rules remain largely unchanged,” said Don Mitchell, police chief at UIS. “The concealed-carry law will not allow someone with a permit to legally carry a gun outside of their vehicle on university property.”

While concealed carry will be allowed in Illinois, the major change to campus policy is that the law will allow those with concealed-carry permits to store firearms in vehicles on campus. But permit holders are not allowed to remove a firearm from their vehicle while on university property.

“We want to make sure those with concealed-carry permits are educated about the new law before they bring firearms on campus,” said Mitchell.

Statewide, those with a permit can carry a handgun as long as it is hidden. If a weapon is being stored in a vehicle, it must be concealed within a case in a locked vehicle or in a locked container that is not in plain view.

The law allows the university to designate specific parking lots for those with a concealed-carry permit, but UIS has decided not to implement such a policy.

There is a provision in the existing law that gives individuals the opportunity to request an exemption allowing them to store a weapon on campus; the police chief is the only one with the power to grant those exemptions.

“Such exemptions will be rarely granted,” said Mitchell.

One of the biggest impacts to campus will be adding the signs the law requires. The law calls for signs prohibiting firearms to be added at every building entrance.

UIS Facilities & Services will be responsible for posting all signs prohibiting firearms at all UIS buildings. Other university staff members are asked not to hang or remove these signs. Persons with questions about where signs will be posted on their buildings should contact Facilities & Services at 217/206-6530.

For more information on the concealed-carry law, visit the Illinois State Police website. To view the weapons policy for all University of Illinois campuses, please visit the UIS Police website.

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