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Guns in the Workplace

Definition

Guns in the workplace refers to state laws that prevent business owners from restricting firearm possession on their property.

UPDATE

Florida House Bill 503, the "Guns in the Workplace" bill, was signed into law by Governor Crist on April 15, 2008. On April 21, 2008, the Florida Chamber and the Florida Retail Federation joined to bring a federal lawsuit challenging that the law is unconstitutional.

The Debate in Florida:

The Florida legislature is considering a bill that would prevent business owners from implementing policies that prohibit guns on their property. The bill, supported by the National Rifle Association, would allow employees with concealed weapon permits to keep loaded firearms in their cars.

Opponents of the measure argue that companies can be held liable if someone is shot on their property so they should have the right to set rules for gun possession on their property. Opponents also point out that employees may be subject to limits on political speech and other restrictions as a condition of employment.

According to the Florida Chamber this is a private property rights issue and the fundamental question is: Should business owners be able to decide if employees are allowed to bring a gun on a business' private property? They certainly think so, and other chambers in Florida agree.

The Destin Area Chamber circulated a call to action among their members to lobby against the bill. Shane Moody, President and CEO of the Destin Area Chamber, had this to say about the proposed legislation:

This is not a gun issue; this is a property rights issue. Business owners should be allowed to make decisions about what happens on their property. This is an issue that needs less government involvement, not more.

Where:

As of now, six states: Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi and Oklahoma, have statutes that prohibit employers from banning weapons on their own property. In addition to Florida, Arizona, Georgia and Tennessee are currently exploring similar legislation. State legislatures in Ohio and Indiana have previously considered and rejected legislation restricting business owners from banning guns in the workplace.

Links

Click HERE to view the NRA's Issues by Topic: Workers Protection and Private Property

Click HERE for an article from USA Today that provides a nationwide overview of 'guns in the workplace' laws.


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