Administrative Services

File code: ADM.CONCEALEDCARRY.POL
Approval Date: 11/18/2013
Revised: 9/02/2014
Approved By: President

Concealed Carry Policy

On July 9, 2013, the Illinois General Assembly passed Public Act 98-63, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, enacting state law (430 ILCS 66). The Statute authorizes public and private universities to promulgate policy regulating the use of weapons on campuses. Western Illinois University (hereafter referred to as "WIU") is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for the WIU Community and its guests. In support of this commitment, WIU establishes restrictions on the ability to carry firearms or weapons on the WIU campus.

Policy

WIU maintains a weapons-free campus. No member of the WIU Community unless authorized by law or specifically exempted by federal or state law or University regulation is authorized to possess a firearm while engaged in WIU-related business or activities.

Persons Covered by the Policy

This policy applies to all employees, students, and individuals visiting or conducting business on WIU property (hereafter referred to as "members of the WIU community").

Weapons and Other Prohibited Activities

It is the policy of WIU to prohibit:

  • all members of the WIU community from possessing firearms or weapons (hereafter referred to as "weapons") on property owned, leased or controlled by WIU, even if that person has a valid federal or state license to possess a weapon.
  • all members of the WIU community from, displaying, brandishing, discharging or otherwise using any and all weapons, including concealed firearms.
  • all members of the WIU community from making threats, engaging in acts of violence, or bullying, especially if a weapon is involved. Such behavior will not be tolerated and may result in immediate discharge, expulsion, and/or banishment from campus.

Exceptions

The provisions of this policy do not apply to the possession of weapons in WIU vehicles, WIU buildings, on WIU grounds, or at any WIU-sponsored activity if the possession of weapons is:

  • connected with a weapons safety course or weapons education course offered in the regular course of business, or approved and authorized by WIU.
  • carried by a University Office of Public Safety Officer required to carry a weapon or firearm as a condition of his or her employment; the weapon or firearm is carried by an enforcement officer from an external agency conducting official business at WIU; or any other exception is deemed necessary as determined by the WIU Director of Public Safety.
  • in possession of guards of armored car companies, who are authorized to possess weapons under the laws of the State of Illinois, while actually engaged in the performance of their duties as contracted by WIU.
  • These exceptions do not apply to off-duty law enforcement officers on campus in their capacity as students at WIU.

Theatrical, Sporting and/or Club Use

Possession of a simulated firearm or weapon may be authorized and such possession permitted only if it is directly connected to a University- or School-related theatrical production (e.g., stage play or film production, or rehearsals for them).

Individuals participating in sanctioned classes, athletics, recreational sports practices, games, matches, tournaments, or events on campus may possess and use implements categorized as weapons when the activity requires the use of such items. (i.e. fencing, starter pistols, and archery).

Locations at Which Policy Applies

For purposes of this policy, "property of WIU" includes any vehicle, building, classroom, laboratory, medical clinic, artistic venue, entertainment venue, officially recognized WIU-related organization property whether owned or leased, and any real property, including parking areas, sidewalks, and common areas under the control of WIU.

WIU's Division of Administrative Services in consultation with Division of Student Services and Office of Public Safety (hereafter OPS) shall clearly and conspicuously post signs at all entrances stating that concealed firearms are prohibited. Signs shall be in accordance with the design approved by the Illinois State Police.

Storage

A firearm may be carried within a vehicle into a designated parking area if the firearm and its ammunition remain locked out of plain view within the parked vehicle. A firearm may be stored in a case within a locked vehicle or locked container out of plain view within the vehicle in the parking area. The firearm may only be removed for the limited purpose of storing or retrieving the firearm from the trunk of the vehicle. A firearm must first be unloaded before removing it from the vehicle.

OPS shall develop protocols for storage, maintenance, and safety of weapons used by the department. In addition, OPS shall be responsible for the promulgation of procedures regarding confiscated weapons and storage of weapons.

The Reserve Officers Training Corp shall develop protocols for storage, maintenance, and safety of weapons used as part of their program.

Enforcement

Any individual visiting or conducting business on WIU property found to have carried a weapon onto the property of WIU knowingly, or under circumstances in which the person should have known that he or she was in possession of a weapon, may be banned from the WIU campus, leased buildings, or other areas under the control of WIU.

Any student found to have carried a weapon onto the property of WIU knowingly, or found to be carrying a weapon under circumstances in which the student should have known that he or she was in possession of a weapon, may be subject to discipline, up to and including expulsion from WIU.

Any employee found to have carried a weapon onto the property of WIU knowingly, or found to be carrying a weapon under circumstances in which the employee should have known that he or she was in possession of a weapon, may be subject to discipline, up to and including immediate termination.

Any individual found to have carried a weapon onto the property of WIU knowingly, or found to be carrying a weapon under circumstances in which the individual should have known that he or she was in possession of a weapon, may be subject to legal action. Violations of this policy may result in referrals to external law enforcement agencies.

Reporting Requirements

The President of WIU has the authority to promulgate protocols for the implementation of this policy, including but not limited to delegating required reporting responsibilities and police protocols related to storage.

Clear and Present Danger Reporting Requirements

Why report

In Illinois the Firearm Owners Identification Act (430 ILCS 65/1) produced legislation requiring the reporting of individuals determined to pose a clear and present danger pursuant to 20 Il. Admin. Code 1230.120. The purpose of this reporting is to identify those persons who are prohibited from acquiring or possessing firearms and firearm ammunition and who are prohibited by this Act from acquiring stun guns and tasers. (Source: P.A. 97-1150, eff. 1-25-13.)

What must be reported

When a University official has determined that a student or other person demonstrates a clear and present danger, as defined herein.

Who must report and how:
  1. The Chief of Police: The Office of Public Safety (OPS) Chief of Police or his/her designee shall notify the Illinois State Police within 24 hours of individuals determined to be a "Clear and Present Danger" (see definition below) using the Illinois State Police Person Determined to Pose a Clear and Present Danger form.
  2. School Administrators: At Western Illinois University, the Chief of Police or his/her designee shall be the designee for all school administrators. Any school administrator with concerns that an identifiable person poses a clear and present danger to self or others shall immediately notify OPS.
  3. Health or Mental Health Care providers: Individuals who are employed by WIU as direct health or mental health care providers, specifically those who are Clinical Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors, Physicians, Psychiatrists, Registered Nurses, and/or Marriage and Family Therapists, are required to notify the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) within 24 hours of determining a person is: "Clear and Present Danger"; "Developmentally Disabled"; or "Intellectually Disabled" as defined in the Firearm Owner's Identification Card (FOID) Act Section 1.1. To notify the Illinois Department of Human Services, the health care or mental health care provider should use the Illinois FOID Mental Health Reporting System website.

    These providers are also required to inform the Office of Public Safety. The Chief of Police or his/her designee shall notify the Illinois State Police.

    Employees of WIU who are not employed as direct health care or mental health care providers but nevertheless are credentialed professionals (i.e. Faculty who are Psychologists, Registered Nurses, etc.) are not required to notify the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) within 24 hours of determining a person is: "Clear and Present Danger"; "Developmentally Disabled"; or "Intellectually Disabled" as defined in the Firearm Owner's Identification Card (FOID) Act Section 1.1. These employees should follow the reporting requirements under section 2.
Protection of the reporter:

The identity of the person making the report shall not be released to the subject of the report. The school administrator, physician, clinical psychologist or qualified examiners shall not be held liable for making or not making the report except in cases of willful and wanton misconduct.

Definitions

A "firearm" is defined as:

  • a loaded or unloaded handgun.

A "handgun" is defined as:

  • any device which is designed to expel a projectile by the action of an explosion, expansion of gas, or escape of gas that is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.

A "weapon" is defined as:

  • any device whether loaded or unloaded, that shoots a bullet, pellet, flare or any other projectile including those powered by CO2. This includes but is not limited to rifles, shotguns, handguns or other firearm, BB/pellet gun, flare gun, stun gun or dart gun and any ammunition for any such device. Any replica of the foregoing is also prohibited.
  • any explosive device including firecrackers and black powder.
  • any device that is designed or traditionally used to inflict harm including but not limited to any knife with a blade longer than three inches, hunting knife, fixed blade knife, throwing knives, dagger, razor or other cutting instrument the blade of which is exposed.

"Bullying' is defined as:

  • conduct by any member of the WIU community that is intended or that a reasonable person could know is likely to harm students by substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one or more students, or conduct that adversely affects the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the University's educational programs or activities by placing the student in reasonable fear or actual and substantial physical harm, mental harm, or emotional distress.

"Clear and present danger" means a person who:

  • communicates a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or poses a clear and imminent risk of serious physical injury to himself, herself, or another person as determined by a physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner; or
  • demonstrates a threatening physical or verbal behavior, such as violent, suicidal, or assaultive threats, actions, or other behavior, as determined by a physician, clinical psychologist, qualified examiner, school administrator, or law enforcement official.