You Can or Can’t Carry your Gun into that Store

One question most gun owners want to know, if they carry openly or concealed carry a firearm, is whether or not the establishment allows you to bring your gun into their establishment. While this seems like a pretty straightforward question, it gets more and more confusing.

Stores will sometimes try to post if they are banning firearms on their premises with the usual sign of a gun with a red circle and slash through it…guns aren’t allowed. Does this mean all firearms or just open carry?

Others will post signs saying you can bring your firearm into their establishment but not all permit concealed carry. As a gun owner, how do you know what you can or can’t do? Not knowing and making an assumption is usually not the best way to approach this situation.

On FOX Illinois, there was an article that says the Senate may be changing this to make it (hopefully) less confusing. In their post, “New Bill Looks To Reverse Gun Sign Law,” they said that there was a bill in front of the Senate that wanted to reverse the current ruling and put one in that was of the opposite nature.

Right now, the law says owners must post a sign prohibiting firearms where they are not welcome. While this might seem clear, apparently stores don’t always post these signs, even though guns aren’t welcome in their establishments. When not posted, it makes the assumption that guns are allowed.

The bill in front of the senate now says, the law would make owners post signs if guns were welcome. This would mean that if there isn’t a sign, you and your gun are not welcome in their establishment.

While this might seem a bit of the old “six of one half-dozen of another,” they feel it would be much clearer so the default says you need to see the sign or you can’t bring your guns. What does this have to do with us and our laws?

What this demonstrates is how easy it is to act in some way where you think it makes sense but where in fact you may be violating the law. There are other laws that have this type of ambiguity and uncertainty in them…not just by the way they were written but by the way they are interpreted. As a gun owner, it is our responsibility to understand the laws and go out of our way to ensure we know where they are applicable. So even if an establishment doesn’t do their part, it doesn’t excuse us from knowing the law and obeying it. As everyone has heard, ignorance of the law is not excuse.

I use this example because it seems trivial, simple, and something that isn’t worth really worrying about. But in reality, it can be enforced and you can be in violation of the law and potentially arrested. This makes it a much bigger deal to not understand even the most simple of laws. Gun ownership carries responsibilities with it and carrying a firearm even more. Knowing these laws is critically important and something every gun owner should be aware of…even if they seem simple. If you ever have a question about a gun law, don’t hesitate to send me a message and I’ll see if I can give you some guidance.

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