As Illinois issues concealed carry licenses, many Chicago area landlords and property mangers are trying to determine how this new law impacts their properties and rental businesses.

While the new law allows concealed carry permit holders to legally carry weapons, landlords are trying to understand the legalities surrounding tenants and visitors legally carrying firearms.

Illinois’ newly established concealed carry laws permits private property owners to restrict or prohibit legal handguns on their properties; however, property mangers are still sorting through the legalities to understand how this law applies to business management. Some of the questions property managers have include:

  • Can firearms be completely banned from the premises? Or does this ruling only apply to common areas?
  • Can tenants legally bear concealed carry firearms within the confines of their apartments or homes without lease provisions first being changed and altered to allow possession?
  • Should property mangers stand back and simply wait to see how the law impacts their businesses?

Most property mangers simply don’t know how they’re going to respond to the new law, which is why it may be advisable for tenants to keep this in mind before applying for and exercising concealed carry rights.

Nearly every other state in the U.S. has been down a similar path – adopting concealed carry regulations – but Illinois’ law contains murky, difficult political language that is making it difficult to decipher. In this case, the Second Amendment runs into conflict with Illinois’ laws that allows building owners’ property rights.

Attorneys and lawmakers predict the legality and intent of the new law will be litigated in court, determining whether tenants will have the right to possess handguns while living in apartment dwellings.

Gun rights proponents are already in position to defend the new law, citing that the Second Amendment prevails over property rights, as homeowners and tenants should have equal access to self-defense and concealed carry weapons.

The 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, District of Columbia v. Heller, determined that a person could not be restricted from possessing or owning legal weapons in their dwellings. However, this new law allows concealed carry firearms to be prohibited from rental properties, unless specific individual lease provisions state otherwise.

Some Chicago area property owners say they will challenge the law and exercise their rights to limit weapons on their properties. It’s advisable for landlords to consult with their property and liability insurance carriers to determine the possible legalities before restricting legal concealed carry.

The only clear result is that the courts will have to determine how this new concealed carry law impacts landlords and property owners, which means that all eyes will be on Illinois this year.

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