Illinois residents will soon have the right to bear arms because of a federal appellate court decision that denied the Illinois concealed carry ban Tuesday.
The 7th U.S. Court of Appeals gave Illinois 180 days to construct a concealed carry law. Illinois law states that anyone who does not possess a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card is not allowed to possess or purchase firearms.
Firearms are prohibited from all Illinois college campuses, as present law exempts colleges and universities from the conceal carry requirements.
SIU President Glenn Poshard said there has been no discussion about whether college campuses will have concealed carry law exemptions.
“We may end up with no restrictions on conceal carry on our campus, and if that happens then there are a lot of problematic things we could face, including the cost of more security for the campus,” he said.
Todd Sigler, director of the Department of Public Safety, said the university’s students and campus safety are his primary concerns. “While it’s our responsibility to make firearms accessible for the owners, we still want to make sure they know they must be stored with us for the safety of the entire campus,” he said.
Fewer than 100 students use the DPS’ firearms storage service, he said, but other Illinois colleges have had to increase their storage space because so many students have registered firearms.
Daniel Kavish, a doctoral student in criminology and criminal justice, said he thinks the ruling was inevitable.
“Illinois is the only state that wasn’t abiding by the Constitution as far as the conceal carry law is concerned,” Kavish said. “It’s only fair that people are allowed to protect themselves outside their homes.”