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Legal Corner: Ask the Gunner!

Firearms Safety Northern IllinoisYou're probably asking, "where's Joel?" Well, I'm giving that old dog some time off. I'm Gunnar, his dog. I'm part beagle and part boxer, 20 months old. You can call me Gunner. The vet addresses my mail "Gunner" and the nice people at the doggy day care list my name as "Gunner" as well. We decided to start a new column, and I'll be answering the legal questions. Joel's a little more than 9 years old (in dog years) so let's give the old boy some rest.

We got a question about Oak Brook Shopping center, that big, expensive outdoor shopping mall. A student alerted us that there are "no CCW" (concealed carry, or carrying a concealed weapon) gun signs up around the perimeter road, and does this mean we can't carry on the sidewalks, in the stores, or in the parking lots?

Well, first things first: I'm going to give the property owner of the Oak Brook Shopping Center a big, right-rear raised leg salute for being such a jerk (they are probably cat lovers, too!) Bad news - they can prohibit CCW licensees from carrying while on the property, and that applies to the whole dang property.

  • "430 ILCS 66/65 (a-10) The owner of private real property of any type may prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms on the property under his or her control. The owner must post a sign in accordance with subsection (d) of this Section indicating that firearms are prohibited on the property, unless the property is a private residence."

But, the "parking lot exception" does apply here. You can enter the area and leave the gun in the car. Let's review the parking lot exception.

The parking lot exception is:

  • "430 ILCS 66/65(b) Notwithstanding subsections (a), (a-5), and (a-10) of this Section except under paragraph (22) or (23) of subsection (a), any licensee prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm into the parking area of a prohibited location specified in subsection (a), (a-5), or (a-10) of this Section shall be permitted to carry a concealed firearm on or about his or her person within a vehicle into the parking area and may store a firearm or ammunition concealed in a case within a locked vehicle or locked container out of plain view within the vehicle in the parking area. A licensee may carry a concealed firearm in the immediate area surrounding his or her vehicle within a prohibited parking lot area only for the limited purpose of storing or retrieving a firearm within the vehicle's trunk, provided the licensee ensures the concealed firearm is unloaded prior to exiting the vehicle. For purposes of this subsection, "case" includes a glove compartment or console that completely encloses the concealed firearm or ammunition, the trunk of the vehicle, or a firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container."

Oakbrook comes under (a-10) so you can ride into, but not get out of your car/motorcycle unless you unload your gun before you get out of your vehicle and place it in storage. You can also leave it in a locked vehicle.

So there you go. Built in excuse for you guys: "I'd love to come into Macy's and watch you shop for hours, but I'm packin' heat and I don't want to break the law!"

Gotta go! I see a squirrel!


Legal Corner: Ask the Gunner!
April 6, 2014

I’m Gunnär, Joel’s dog. I’m part beagle and part boxer, 20 months old. You can call me Gunner.
Joel’s busy getting ready to speak at the NRA Law Seminar in late April, but we had an interesting question come in regarding CCW and condominium property, so I offered to woof a reply.

Pat T writes: “I am a trustee on the board of directors in the condominium complex where I live. It is comprised of nitwits. They want to put up “no firearms” signage. Management, board meetings, hearings, recreational facilities and Association business is conducted in one building (clubhouse). The posting of the dreaded “No Firearms” sticker there, I surmise, would be consistent with the law.

Does arbitrary Association Signage (other than permitted by The ILCS) supercede the law?”

Pat also provided the condo Board’s proposed rule that would restrict where the condo owners can carry. It reads:

“The concealed carry of firearms is otherwise specifically prohibited within the common elements of the Association including but not limited to: Association Meetings, Board Meetings, Committee/Commission Meetings, Violation Hearings; Laundry Room; Other recreational facilities where a group may gather; Any other formal Association gathering anywhere in the common elements or Association owned Property.”

Well, this calls for a big, raised right-rear leg salute to Pat’s condo board. We’re gonna look at this from the criminal and civil sides.

Okay...first things first. Joel’s no condo wiz attorney, so his thoughts (and mine) are regarding the criminal aspects —am I committing a crime? The answer is a resounding NO! But to answer this completely, we need to understand what the Condominium Property Act states regarding ownership. This Act is found in the Illinois Compiled Statutes at 765 ILCS 605/1 et seq.

A condominium is property consisting of multiple dwelling units where a developer has filed with the Recorder of Deeds a declaration submitting the property to be subject to the Condominium Act and Plat of Survey delineating the ownership percentage of each unit in the entire property. The property is the buildings, common areas and lands that are shown on a Plat of Survey.

This ownership interest may only be 2 percent, but it is 2 percent of the common areas and it is an unallocated percentage of ownership. Common areas include hallways, laundry rooms, elevators, recreation centers, etc. The interest is undivided and it is literally 2 percent of anywhere the owner steps on condo property. So a condo owner (or the lessee) is always stepping on his or her property.

Now when we review the law for Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW) and Unlawful Use of a Weapon (UUW), remember a person commits UUW when he or she [720 ILCS 5/24(a)(4)]:
“...Carries or possesses in any vehicle or concealed on or about his person except when on his land or in his own abode, legal dwelling, or fixed place of business, or on the land or in the legal dwelling of another person as an invitee with that person’s permission, any pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser or other firearm,"
Except that this subsection (a) (4) does not apply to or affect
transportation of weapons that meet one of the following conditions:

  • (i) are broken down in a non-functioning state; or
  • (ii) are not immediately accessible; or
  • (iii) are unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person who has been issued a currently valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card...”
I think we can safely say that the condo owner can carry concealed on his or her person and not be committing a crime. Same for any guest of the condo owner —no violation of UUW as long as the guest has owner’s permission. Also, the parking lot exception will apply.

How about the civil side of this? Can the condo board impose restrictions? That is questionable. But I think I’ll check with some of the other legal beagles and see what they think. They can definitely stop outsiders with the “no guns” sign. I’m not sure how far they can go with condo owners, their tenants or guests.

I see a rabbit! Gotta go!


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