Showdown looms over 'bring your gun to work' laws
Some companies aren't happy about states letting employees store firearms in their vehicles while on the job.
They're known as "bring your gun to work" or "parking lot" laws, and Alabama will soon become the latest of about 20 states to have such a measure. The NRA-supported bill was signed into law in May and takes effect in Alabama on Aug. 1.
The new law allows people with valid permits to keep firearms stored in their vehicles while at work. And those with a valid state hunting licenses can keep an unloaded rifle or shotgun in their vehicles while at work. Among its provisions, including how and when a firearm can be transported onto company property, the NRA notes the Alabama law "extends the current Castle Doctrine to include places of business to ensure the right of self-defense does not end when you enter your business."
While gun-rights advocates applaud such measures, these laws also create tricky legal challenges for many companies and employers concerned about both workplace security and possible lawsuits related to gun rights.
The law "provides the employees with a cause of action and a right to go into court, which is a big change for this subject," Marion Walker, with the Fisher & Phillips law firm, told the Birmingham Business Journal.
For example, the law firm suggests employers not ask their employees if they're carrying a gun. If an employer thinks a worker poses a risk to himself or others, it can inquire about a firearm in the person's vehicle. However, as the BBJ notes, "the law does not define how a company could arrive at that conclusion."
These laws have also been opposed by companies such as FedEx (FDX) and Volkswagen (VLKAY), which believe an employer's right to decide if a gun is allowed on company property should have precedent over an individual's gun rights.
"FedEx should be allowed to continue to implement policies that are designed to protect our employees from irrational or heat-of-the-moment actions by their co-workers," Mark Hogan, the company's vice president for security, said during testimony last year before Tennessee lawmakers. "Allowing employees to have near, immediate access to firearms, at work, creates an element of risk that is unacceptable."
In the meantime, experts are advising Alabama companies to review and revise any workplace violence-prevention policies to ensure they comply with the new law.
"Also look hard at updating your Professional Conduction of Prohibition Against Harassment to include prohibitions on bullying as objectionable conduct," Tommy Eden, a management labor attorney at Contangy, Brooks & Smith, recently wrote in the Opelika-Auburn News. "Workers who are bullied at work may decide that the gun in their pickup is the great equalizer."
I don't need to make a choice between self-defense and working. If my car breaks down in a bad neighborhood or I return home to surprise criminals inside my home I will be armed, period end of discussion.
Individual rights to self-defense outweigh those of a company, whose policy-makers are not accountable to the employees who may require protection, and are often determined by their own political or social agenda.
In any case, property rights extend to personal vehicles. I don't relinquish my right to keep certain types of media or other items just because I drive onto a company's public-access parking lot. The same principle applies to firearms, pocket knifes, or pepper spray.
Ultimately, a business, whether a small locally-owned convenience store or a multi-national corporation, is safer with employees who take responsibility for their own safety as well as the safety of their coworkers.
My God I hate liberals and now I will NEVER use Fedx again.
Congrats UPS you just got a new account
to quote the article: Tommy Eden, a management labor attorney at Contangy, Brooks & Smith, recently wrote in the . "Workers who are bullied at work may decide that the gun in their pickup is the great equalizer."
what the lawyer SHOULD do is stop the employees BEING BULLIED AT WORK! then they'd have no reason to go for their guns. Nope, keep the abusive environment, and blame the guy who can't take it any more.
"*sigh* I wish I could kill my jerk boss and those azz-kisser co-workers of mine but there's that stupid rule about bringing guns to work... guess I will just sit here and drown my sorrow in cheap booze instead"
Does anyone really think that is what would happen?
if anything the rule just sticks on another criminal charge to a long list of charges, IF SWAT captures the crazy guy alive...
Ha ha ... who cares. Nobody. Criminals have more guns than law abiding citizens and I don't see anyone stopping them from carrying. Get real. The constitution doesn't guard your right to have firearms, the people who defend the constitution do. So, carry if ya want. I think this article just gives them the right to document, follow and search you since you have to be a registered "gun toter."
who doesn't carry a gun around with them everywhere they go? are there really people out there that don't? UGGH...I don't know about you but, I personally know my rights and fully understand them and FULLY utilize them EVERY DAY....ALL DAY!!!!
I'm not a scared little coward like you sheep. you want to have rights? USE THEM!!!!!! all you people just hand them over willfully and then complain when you can't use them....makes no sense....DDDEEERRRR!!!!!!!! MAN UP LITTLE GIRLS!!!!! this country used to have men in it.
I hear this crap all the time from Big companies.
My Girlfriend was confronted in a PUBLIX parking lot.
when I went in and asked to speak to the manager, he told me they are NOT responsible for what happens there.
Now I use this rule of thumb.
If my car is hit in a public lot, and the company that owns/rents the space says they are not liable if my car gets damaged, say. from a cart, , I figure they have absolved themselves of the responsibility of what happens out there
when I carry.
Cant have it both ways.
As an employer and a 2A supporter, I see the problem. The employer carries liability if the employee who has a gun in his vehicle does something stupd with it. Amend the law to isolate the employer's liability, and some of the complaining will drop.
I carry at work, and some of my employees do also. I pity the fool that tries to rob us.
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