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Illinois law fails to address premises liability issue

Posted on in Premises Liability

Most property owners understand the basics of premises liability. For the most part, an owner&s liability is tied to that owner&s negligence in failing to maintain safe premises or failure to addresses a dangerous condition on the property. Chicago owners are responsible for any number of dangerous conditions, like a vicious dog or an icy patch.

But a recent decision in an Illinois concealed carry law has some property owners questioning just how far their liability extends. The new law does not provide any answers because it does not specifically address who is liability if something happens because of a concealed carry in an otherwise "gun-free" zone.

Business owners, of course, have the option to post gun-free or no-guns-allowed signs but signs may not prevent someone from coming into the business with a concealed weapon.

Other states have concealed-carry laws but unlike those states, the legislation in Illinois does not contain any provision to limit liability to business or property owners. Under the law, as written, if someone is hurt on the premises with a concealed gun, the business owner may still be liable for damages even if they have no-guns-allowed signs posted at the entrance. Even a businesses& own employees may bring a liability suit because they were not allowed to carry a gun on site in order to protect themselves.

A number of pieces of legislation have been proposed to address this issue in the concealed-carry law. But until anything is changed, if there is an incident involving the gun-free zones and a concealed weapon, both property owners and possible victims may want to consult with a Chicago premises liability attorney in order to understand their rights and obligations under the current law.

Source: ABC Eyewitness News 7, "Concealed carry law raises liability concerns for business owners," Chuck Goodie, March 20, 2014

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