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Guns in the workplace 2011

Chaaron Pearson on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 12:00:00 am

Guns in the workplace law refers to an NRA supported bill that would guarantee employees the right to keep firearms in their vehicle on their employers property as long as the gun is concealed and the car is locked.

Proponents say that licensed gun owners should have access to protection on the drive to and from work.  Many chambers of commerce have opposed the measure on the grounds that employer's rights as property owners should allow them to restrict anyone from carrying firearms on the premises.

Guns in the workplace laws are always a contentious issue within the business community and it seems to reappear every year.  Below are four states that are currently facing new guns in the workplace legislation.

Indiana

In 2010, Indiana signed a “guns at work” bill into law prohibiting employers from banning guns from their parking lots.  Employees are now allowed to keep legally permitted firearms out of sight in their locked vehicles while they are working.

Gun rights advocates are pushing hard with new legislation during the 2011 session of the Indiana legislature.  The latest gun-related legislation in Indiana, SB 411, dubbed the “Parking Lot 2.0 bill by the NRA, would move further, not just to allow guns concealed in locked vehicles, but to allow lawsuits if employers ask job applicants or employees about gun ownership or if they require employees to disclose that they store firearms in their car.

The Indiana Chamber and their members are fighting hard against the bill.  George Raymond, vice president of human resources and labor relations at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce says that “employers are struggling to abide by a vaguely written law.  We’re opposed to the bill, just as we were to last year’s bill.”

Read more: Herald Bulletin – NRA wants Indiana lawmakers to ban employers from gun-related questions

Texas

A similar bill, SB 321, has passed the Texas senate and has a similar bill pending in the house will prohibit employers from disciplining or firing an employee for having a firearm locked in his or her vehicle on company property.  On March 16, the bill moved to the Texas house for consideration.  Business organizations, including the Texas Association of Business, have opposed this legislation warning that the bill could lead to more workplace violence.

Read more: Bloomberg Businessweek – Senate Oks letting Texans keep guns in car at work

Tennessee

The Tennessee Senate passed legislation that allows individuals with handgun permits to carry their weapons where they work.  The measure has now moved on to the House for a final vote.  This legislation will not impact places that currently ban weapons.

Read more: My Fox Memphis: Current Bans Override Guns at Work Bill

North Dakota

North Dakota’s House approved a bill similar to the bill being considered in Texas, allowing employees to keep guns locked in their vehicles while at work.  Andy Peterson, president of the North Dakota Chamber says “this bill infringes on the rights of business owners to deny access to their property as they deem appropriate.”  A Senate committee is now reviewing the legislation.

Read more: Grand Forks Herald – Proposed N.D. law allows guns in vehicles at work     

Previous ACCE guns in the workplace articles:

            Indiana Guns in the Workplace – 2010

            Guns in the Workplace in Alabama - 2009

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