ROCKFORD (WIFR) – It’s the first of what’s expected to be many, a local business puts up a sign telling folks to keep the guns away as we come closer to the first concealed carry permits being issued in Illinois.
A viewer wrote to us on Facebook who was upset when he saw the sign on the door at the Phillips 66 gas station off of Bypass 20 on Alpine and Linden Road.
We checked and the sign is on the door. Even though concealed carry is legal in Illinois, businesses do have the right to deny patrons from carrying on their property if a standardized sign has been posted. If gun and permit holders don’t follow the requests, they would be committing a misdemeanor.
Rodger Day says he frequents the gas station and was upset to see the sign. He says people have the wrong idea of potential concealed carry holders.
“People that get these concealed carry permits, they hope they never ever have to use it. I never want to injure anybody or take anybody’s life. Will I, if I have to, to protect my family? Absolutely.”
We tried talking to managers at the gas station who redirected us to State Oil who emailed us the following statement:
"State Oil strives to maintain the best and safest environment for its customers and its employees."
As far as other local places that have put up the signs, we've heard that some Stateliners are seeing them at local locations including big chain stores. We’re also hearing mixed reviews on the signs. There are definitely people who are happy to see the signs and say it makes them feel safer. Other would rather be able to carry a gun and would like to, as they say, better protect themselves.
Keep in mind, we are relatively close to the date when people will be able to start carrying legally, so expect to possibly see more signs go up in the coming weeks.
Another issue that's raising some eyebrows in the Stateline is how some local governments aren't signing up to take part in the concealed carry application review process.
The Illinois State Police do an initial background check on applicants by searching through state and national databases to see if applicants have prior convictions or other disconcerting prior issues.
There are certain issues that don't register on those databases, like domestic violence issues that never result in convictions or never go beyond a police call and report.
That's where local police departments come in if they agree to take part in the application review process.
If municipalities agree to take part, they can object to the approval of application based on some of those issues state police may not know of thus preventing some people who probably shouldn't be able to carry a gun from fall through the cracks.
"We're the one who's going to have to do something about it if somebody pulls a gun inappropriately," says Rockton Mayor Dale Adams who says his village will take part in the review process. "I think it's important that we do have input and say so in who gets the permits."
Winnebago County Police and Rockford Police both have announced they will not take part in the review process because each say they don't have the man power to patrol the city, take care of other issues in the city and county, and then add the burden of reviewing all the concealed carry applications.