Chicago lawyer warns against arming employees with concealed carry

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Armed robbers were shot down Wednesday by store employees packing heat under Illinois’ new concealed carry law.

But a lawyer who works with businesses warns it's not always a good idea to put guns in the hands of employees.

The T-Mobile store on 95th street was still closed Thursday with employees cleaning up the mess.

"All of a sudden we heard gunshots,” said Daniell Glasper.

Glasper is a stylist at the beauty shop on the other side of the wall.

"They had a little shootout in there and shot the glass out of the door and everything,” Glasper said.

Two men who tried to rob the phone store were shot by an employee carrying a gun, and later turned up with gunshot wounds at a nearby hospital.

On Saturday, about two miles to the east, an employee of a food and liquor store shot and killed two boys, 15 and 17, as they tried to rob the store.

Police say in both instances, the store employees were licensed to carry guns through Illinois’ new concealed carry program. People who work in other stores in the strip mall say they don't carry guns, but are glad the employee of the phone store took action.

"I feel safe cause I know he's licensed and he can carry it. I feel safe that at least somebody in this area--cause we a target,” said Cheryl Drummond of Edible Arrangements.

"I definitely worry about a stray bullet. But if it helps to protect our businesses then I'm for it,” Glasper said.

"For those employers who haven't considered these issues at all, it's time to get moving,” said Noah Frank.

Frank is an attorney who specializes in employment law, and he says many Illinois businesses are still trying to figure out whether to allow workers to use concealed carry.

Frank says he tells those businesses they have to make sure employees are properly licensed and trained, and asks whether other security measures might be tried first before putting guns in the hands of employees.

"If there's a robber in the store and your manager shoots the wrong person, who is that patron going to sue? They're gonna sue the manager. But they're also going to sue the store because that's where the pockets are,” Franks said.

The other consideration is who owns the property where the business is located? Under Illinois law, the property owner has final say  on whether guns are permitted and not the business renting the storefront.

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