GENEVA – Kane County’s attempt to draft a concealed-carry policy has turned into a balancing act between liability issues and employees’ constitutional rights.
“It is a very difficult decision,” said Cristina Castro, the Kane County Board member who chairs the Human Services Committee.
Wednesday, the committee considered the first revised draft of the policy, which states employees may not carry concealed firearms in any county building or vehicle. Under the proposed policy, they also are prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm in their private vehicle while in the course of their employment with the county.
A representative from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office told the committee this restriction would apply to employees’ vehicles that are parked on county property. It is part of risk management, she said, noting it isn’t difficult for someone to burglarize a car.
“We could be liable for something that goes completely wrong as well,” said Castro, D-Elgin.
The policy would not apply to county employees authorized to carry a concealed firearm by another state statute, the draft states.
Board member Mark Davoust, R-St. Charles, took issue with asking employees to surrender their right to concealed carry because they are coming to work.
“That’s going to be challenged,” he said, suggesting the county should post signs that belongings are stored in vehicles at the owners’ risk.
County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen also noted the county would be asking employees to give up their right to self-defense while coming and going from work. Already, he said, employees have shared concerns about the “no gun” signs posted on county buildings.
“We are labeling ourselves as unprotected or undefended,” Lauzen said.
Government buildings are among the places where guns are banned under the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act.
The committee did not take action on the proposed policy. For the next meeting, Castro requested the committee have the concealed-carry policies for the various county campuses, since the board only governs specific properties.