Guns at work – coming to a neighborhood near you?

March 6th, 2006 by Julie Ferguson

Should employees be able to keep guns in their cars on company premises? This has been a hotly contested legislative issue in several states recently. We’ve previously discussed the NRA’s push in various states to get legislation passed that would forbid employers from banning guns in company parking lots. Legislation allowing employees to keep guns in their cars has passed in several states, and it was expected that Florida would be the next state to enact such legislation. But after a significant outcry from the state’s business community, Florida’s House Bill 129 was put on hold. This setback is expected to be temporary as the NRA regroups. It’s expected that similar measures may soon be introduced in the Senate.
A Brady Center report released in November 2005 was influential in the debate. The report – Forced Entry: The National Rifle Association’s Campaign to Force Businesses to Accept Guns at Work” (PDF) – cites a May 2005 study demonstrating that ” … workplaces where guns were permitted were five to seven times more likely to be the site of a worker homicide.” The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and The Society for Human Resource Managment (SHRM) were among the many industry associations that opposed the bill.
This is not the only setback the NRA has faced. In 2004, Oklahoma passed such a measure in reaction to an incident in which eight Weyerhaeuser employees were fired for having guns in their cars on company premises. Last month, a federal appeals court upheld the employer’s right to ban guns on company property.
If you are an employer, how do you feel about allowing employees to keep guns on your property? Learn whether your state has such legislation pending, and what you can do about it. Forewarned is forearmed.