Walmart prohibits on-duty employees and vendors in their stores from carrying weapons as a matter of corporate policy in all fifty states.
With Illinois poised to join 49 other states with law-abiding, licensed good guys carrying firearms on their person, Wal-Mart’s corporate people have caused all sorts of consternation among gun owners in Illinois with the posting of new signs in all Illinois stores, reiterating this corporate policy.
The sign looks similar to the official sign that the Illinois State Police has directed to be posted for businesses wishing to ban carry in their buildings:
This similarity has quite a few people crying “foul!”
Does the new Wal-Mart signage prohibit carry for everyone, or just those to whom it addresses? That’s the $1.98 question.
Where can business owners or property owners obtain information about required signage?
The 4 inch by 6 inch sign is available for download at http://www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw. The Illinois State Police has adopted administrative rules permitting the design and posting of a larger sign (of any size) if the property owner feels the entrance to their building, premises or real property requires one. The 4 inch by 6 inch sign must be visible somewhere on the larger sign. The administrative rules proposed by the Illinois State Police also permit the larger sign to include additional language. The administrative rules have been filed with the Illinois Secretary of State pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act and will be published in the January 17th Illinois Register.
What if a business owner or employer wants to prohibit their employees from carrying in the workplace, can they have more restrictive employment policies? And, if they do so, should they post the required sign?
This is an employment law question. The Illinois State Police cannot give legal advice to employers; however, the law is not written to preempt a private employer’s right to have more restrictive employment policies. If a business owner or employer wants to prohibit only employees, they should not post the required sign as doing so makes the location a prohibited place. Rather, this should be addressed through appropriate employment policies.
Does the Wal-Mart sign offer a blanket prohibition on carry in their stores?
We’re not sure. Even our lawyers are offering differing opinions.
We do know that when we travel to states outside of Illinois such as Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, George, Texas, Alabama and Florida, we don’t see signs announcing “No Guns” to on-duty Wal-Mart employees and vendors doing business there.
Why is Illinois any different?
We believe law-abiding gun owners will error on the side of caution and not return to Wal-Mart stores until and unless the signs come down.
We’re urging all gun owners to contact Wal-Mart’s corporate offices and encourage them to ditch the new signs adorning their stores.
The district manager for at least part of Central Illinois is Kevin Haney. His number is 217 352-8142.
Be polite and ask him to ask his supervisors to take down these signs to avoid confusion as to the legal scope of the signs. Let them know you’ll be back once the signs come down.
His assistant Beverly is very nice, so be on your best behavior! Reminder: It’s not Kevin’s decision to make, but he can forward our wishes to his boss who can forward it to the big dogs of Wally World in Arkansas.