Illinois’ new concealed carry law has been in effect for several months now, but it appears there is still confusion over some of its requirements.

A ‘no guns allowed’ sign is posted in a tiny public park in Downers Grove attached to the larger park district sign.

Yet right next door in Lombard, there are no signs banning guns nor are there any signs up in Maywood’s public parks — a community that’s seen plenty of gun violence.

“If you were to look at the one common thread in this legislation, it’s confusion,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says. “It was messed up from day one and it still is today.”

Dart says the concealed carry bill passed by the state legislature last year is a mishmash of confusing language when it comes to requirements placed on municipalities and park districts.

“There’s wildly inconsistent behavior here as far as people not knowing what to do,” Dart says.

The statute includes a list of 23 places where concealed carry is prohibited, including public parks, playgrounds, libraries and schools.

The statute also requires ‘no guns’ signs be posted at those places. And while we found the signs at one public park in Homewood, the vast majority of parks we checked have no signs at all.

There is no enforcement mechanism in the law and no state agency to check whether the law is being followed. Nor is there any deadline to post the signs.

Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association says local park districts and other agencies are being made aware of the law through professional associations and questions whether all that signage is even needed.

Sheriff Dart is opposed to the bill, so he’s trying to pick it apart any way he can,” Pearson says.

“Every person that takes a concealed carry class has to go through that section and knows all the prohibited areas.”

Anyone with a concealed carry permit caught in those prohibited areas could lose their license and face a Class B misdemeanor.

A spokesperson for the Chicago Park District says they’ll begin putting up signs prohibiting guns in all public parks in the next few weeks.

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