Restrictions lessen for concealed carry permit holders.
New state rules will take effect for concealed carry permit holders on Tuesday, giving them the right to tote handguns and ammunition onto workplace property. This game-changer will affect employers who, until this time, could ban firearms from workplace property, but “now, if you have some sort of a blanket policy like that, you’ll be in violation of the law as of the 21st,” explains Steve Loewengart, regional managing partner at law firm Fisher Phillips.
Specifically, permit holders will be able to store handguns and ammo in their vehicles locked in the glove box, trunk or other secure container.
“I think a lot of employers are going to have to review those policies; word them carefully. “I think handguns and the thoughts about them around the workplace probably scare a lot of people. They want to be pretty specific about how they are going to adjust to this new law,” says Loewengart.
“I don’t know if employers are going to want to have designated parking spaces for people who bring handguns to their parking lots; if they’re going to want to be having their parking lots inspected to see whether those cars don’t have guns lying around,” he adds.
But they will need to do something, he says, since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration “puts the onus on employers to provide a safe workplace for their workers to the extent that they’re able to foresee dangers,” and the likelihood of danger may grow. Loewengart asserts that, although employers have immunity through the new law should something happen, it is still important for them to be hands-on.
“It’s in their interest to be very proactive in an age where we have a lot of workplace violence incidents. Just because there is immunity under the statute, they need to be proactive in trying to prevent gun violence within the workplace.”
Although some aftershocks of the new rule can be predicted, it is largely new territory.
“It’s kind of a ‘Wild West’ sort of concept,” Loewengart says.