Illinois: Senate bill lets judges bring guns into courthouses, but not into their courtrooms

Most states have fairly large and broad statutory prohibitions on the carrying of firearms into either courthouses in general or courtrooms in particular (click here for a list). Illinois’ current prohibition is on the broader side.

430 ILCS 66/65(a)(4) A [concealed carry] licensee under this Act shall not knowingly carry a firearm on or into…Any building designated for matters before a circuit court, appellate court, or the Supreme Court, or any building or portion of a building under the control of the Supreme Court.

SB 1637 as introduced, however, would change the equation in the state, allowing judges and prosecutors who have a concealed carry firearm license to in fact carry into the courthouse but not a courtroom. The judge or prosecutor seeking to enter into the courtroom would be required to put the weapon into a locker provided by the sheriff or, if the building was controlled by the judiciary, the presiding judge.

SB 1637 has been placed in the Senate Assignments Committee pending placement in a subject matter committee.