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Old October 18, 2013, 04:12 PM   #1
BarryLee
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Guns in Cars and Mandatory Reporting

The Wall street journal ran an article dealing with employees keeping guns in their cars on company property where allowed by law. The article covers some of the same arguments dealing with property rights v. Second Amendment rights, but did touch on one new trend that I find troubling. Basically some employers are now requiring employees who have carry permits to report this to their employer. I can also see this becoming an issue during the interview process and on background checks.

I’m not sure how widespread this is, but I wonder what the legal issues are dealing with required reporting of permits and/or firearms in private vehicles. Also, I see mandatory reporting as an invasion of privacy, but again is it a legal issue? Should we in the firearms community encourage our legislatures to implement new laws to prohibit this practice?

Maybe I’m overreacting, but I fear as we see more Second Amendment freedoms restored at the legislative/judicial level the anti-gun crowd is going to look for covert ways to implement gun control.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...95532026750354
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Old October 18, 2013, 06:01 PM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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It's a contractual issue, not a legal issue. Good luck getting a law passed that would prohibit employers from asking.
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Old October 18, 2013, 06:13 PM   #3
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My state....

The state where I live & work passed pro-gun laws/2A + statues a few years ago that said a gun owner/license holder can keep their firearm(s) & ammunition in their own vehicle(POV for you military TFLers, ).
That seems fair. I would not disclose my W/concealed license to a 3rd party(employer) as a SOP. It's no one's business if I own or carry weapons. If they are legal & Im not a safety threat or a mental health problem, then Id consider that a unfair labor practice.

A few years ago, Sen Al Franken(D-MN) wrote about a CEO/business owner who started a "nazi memorabilia" club to flush out the staff-employees who may join.

As a armed professional(armed security), I've dealt with people who were very anti-gun or "nervous Nellies" about weapons. My basic response was to remain calm, polite & explain that my firearms/weapons are lawful, authorized & IAW state regulations. Their feelings or political views have no bearing on me or how I do my job.
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Old October 18, 2013, 10:17 PM   #4
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Some states require you to inform an officer if your in possession of firearms others don't. However, it's not advisable to lie to an LEO if ask. In my rural area most of the locals know I carry but some of the state police don't. What I do is my License is right behind my drivers license They will see it if they are as observant as they are suppose to be.
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Old October 19, 2013, 01:26 AM   #5
62coltnavy
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My view is that a company parking lot is one thing, the office/factory/etc something else entirely. A parking lot is a quasi-public area, not entirely private property, for most business, where access is granted to not only employees but to delivery persons, mailmen, and business customers. In such situations as well it may be impossible for employees to park off the premises, There is some support for this view in a recently decided federal district court case that the post office cannot ban private weapons in its parking lots, while it is allowed to do so inside. This distinction makes sense and deals with the majority of the risk without intruding on citizens rights to bear arms. If you can't store a firearm in a private vehicle that the employer has no tight to search, then you have eliminated the right for all times during the daily commute, and that does not seem to be a fair balancing of property rights versus constitutional rights.
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Old October 19, 2013, 09:11 AM   #6
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TN recently passed a law allowing employees to keep guns in cars in employer parking lots. Don't know if employers can require employees to indicate whether or not they have a gun on the premises or not.

The guns in cars bill had quite a bit of trouble getting through the legislature even though TN is generally gun friendly. It was pretty much property rights vs gun rights for a couple of years.
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Old October 19, 2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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Any employer who asks employees to reveal whether they have concealed carry permits is probably not asking so that they can give them a free holster at the company Christmas party. I would think giving out the information would be potentially detrimental.

In some states, a list of carry permit holders is public info and can be obtained upon request. In this environment you might as well tell them, since they can find out easily anyway.

In states where the list of permit holders is not public info, You could consider not informing your employer. If your employer were to gain access to the list in this environment, it's likely they were skirting the law.
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Old October 19, 2013, 10:04 AM   #8
wally626
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Quote:
There is some support for this view in a recently decided federal district court case that the post office cannot ban private weapons in its parking lots, while it is allowed to do so inside.
If I Remember correctly, this was only a single court case with very specific facts. The complainant could not get home delivery and there was no public parking near the post office that was always available. I do not remember this getting to the level of review it would apply to all post office non-restricted lots for all people.
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Old October 19, 2013, 10:31 AM   #9
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This is going beyond letting the employer know if you have a gun in your vehicle in the parking lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by article
Since a concealed-carry permit won't show up on a background check in many states, they are also advising employers to require staff with handgun permits to report them to human resources, said Tobias E. Schlueter, a shareholder at the law firm.
The paragraph immediately following this quotes someone as saying "That's none of their business," and I wholeheartedly agree. If this is allowed, what's next? Can employers require their serfs workers to inform Human Resources of what magazines they subscribe to, what books they buy or read, and/or what movies or videos they watch?

They can have a rule prohibiting bringing a gun into a company building. It's their building. What I do for my hobbies, away from work and on my own time, is none of their business. If they're afraid I'll try to sneak a gun into work, they can install metal detectors and rent some bomb-sniffing dogs. (There should be a number of former military bomb sniffing canines coming home and looking for homes.)
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Old October 19, 2013, 11:38 AM   #10
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What I do for my hobbies, away from work and on my own time, is none of their business.
It is none of their business. And sadly, these days, it also IS their business. It shouldn't be, but it is.

And it is because of the employment contract you sign. It is seldom (actually likely never) directly spelled out, but read the "boilerplate" parts carefully.

Some places consider you, as an employee, a representative of their company, both on the premises, and off. There is often language about things "detrimental to the image of the company". Yes, its usually that vague.

They get to determine what that is. And when. You give them that authority when you sign the employment contract.
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Old October 19, 2013, 02:34 PM   #11
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There are all kinds of things an employer can ask, just as there are all kinds of things I don't have to disclose.

I live in a "right-to-work" State. Because of this, I will not give my employer any private data that is not required (by the State Labor Dept) to get and maintain employment.
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Old October 19, 2013, 02:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
It's a contractual issue, not a legal issue. Good luck getting a law passed that would prohibit employers from asking.
It may already exist, in a way.
Some states have really vague Equal Opportunity Employment laws, that a good lawyer could wrap around the firearms issue.

Of course, the case would be far more likely to be successful in a state like Utah or Wyoming, than a place like Georgia or NJ.
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Old October 19, 2013, 05:04 PM   #13
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Right to work state, labor issues...

I agree with the members who would decline to answer or avoid disclosure.
My state protects the identity/records of concealed carry license holders.
That is a fair SOP in my view. A stalker or possible threat could research concealed carry/gun license records & learn if you have a weapon/CC license.
Id rather they find out the hard way, .

Id add that it's not melodramatic or a Lifetime TV movie plot to be concerned about these issues.
Doing security work, I had a male subject who I had several problems with when he stayed at a hotel property where I worked, jump out of a vehicle & start to chase me in a mall parking lot.
In the late 1990s, I worked briefly in a large medical center in a urban area. A supervisor I worked with told me about another dept manager who was followed & beaten up by a disgruntled employee. The staff member was upset & angry because the manager ridiculed him for missing work. The employee's wife was critically ill & in a ICU. The manager returned to full time employment but was very leery of his co-workers & would park blocks away from the medical center property.
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Old October 19, 2013, 06:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
It's a contractual issue, not a legal issue. Good luck getting a law passed that would prohibit employers from asking.
Most places have laws that prevent discrimination based on age, religion, sex, race, political beliefs, ect, ect.
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Old October 19, 2013, 07:17 PM   #15
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Most places have laws that prevent discrimination based on age, religion, sex, race, political beliefs, ect, ect.
Yep, lots of those kinds of laws today. What they get applied to, and how they get applied varies a lot.

When you talk about discrimination due to political beliefs, that ground gets really shaky, really quick.

Also include the fact that our "Constitutional Rights" are looked at one way when the issue involves some level of government, and a different way when it is entirely between private individuals.

Why would an employer ask or require employees to inform them if they had carry permits? Personally, I think that is a very foolish policy. Besides the invasion of privacy insult, I mean.

What are they worried about? A workplace shooting, right?

There is a belief among many that anyone who carries a gun (when they aren't paid to do so) is not fully sane. Since you obviously aren't fully sane, they worry you might snap and do violence (and are already proven prone to that, since you have a carry permit...etc.)

I've actually had people try and make this kind of argument to me. Such a world we're in...

Consider how someone with some degree of that kind of mindset would react after a workplace shooting, when they found out that you (the business) "knew he was a licensed pistol carrier, and you let him work there anyway???" Smells like lawsuit to me....

I don't think these businesses have thought this through as well as they should have. Personally, I think a "don't ask, don't tell" policy would be much better from a business liability standpoint, but then, I'm neither a lawyer, nor an actuary.
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Old October 19, 2013, 08:33 PM   #16
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP
They get to determine what that is. And when. You give them that authority when you sign the employment contract.
True enough. That's why I posted above that it's a contractual issue.

Which is why I never sign those things. One employer didn't tell me there was one until I had been hired and we (five of us) were in the middle of a full morning orientation. We were handed a personnel manual and told to take it home, read it, sign the front page and return that the next morning. The manual had a policy about no guns on company property. But I was hired to work closing shift at a location in a strip mall in a very seedy area of town, and our business (at that time) stayed open an hour later than any other store in the mall. They wanted me to lock up, and then walk through a deserted parking lot in a high-crime area, unarmed. I asked if I could keep my gun in my locker, and just wear it going to my car. manager kicked it upstairs on Tuesday, answer came back "NO" on Wednesday, I handed in my resignation on Thursday and Friday was my last day.

Another job, they didn't tell me there was a personnel manual until I was six months into the job -- at which time they claimed I had violated one of the rules. Once they gave me a copy of the manual, I saw that, in fact, the act they said was in violation was actually specifically allowed. I didn't sign that one, either -- I handed in my resignation the next day.

Where I work now, I had been working for a year and a half before they gave me a copy of the personnel manual and told me to sign the cover page. I read it. It has a no guns on company premises policy in it. I haven't signed it, and nobody has remembered to ask me for it, so I'm still working and still getting paid. If they ever remember to make me sign it --- I don't know what will happen.
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Old October 20, 2013, 02:33 PM   #17
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a bit over a year ago due to a budget cut I was laid off. I got by but after a while with an almost futile job search I was able to get a job and with good pay too. I was so glad to sign the contract which company policy includes a ban on guns including property.
I live in a state where posted notice holds the authority of the law. This means I do not have a choice in how I would defend myself to and from work (workplace violence aside) as well as when I run errands to or from work and as well as when I pickup and drop off my children to and from work (thinking of the recent biker road rage incident in NY).

its a sad reality the level of discrimination against the law abiding citizens for what is technically a constitutional right. And I am not talking open carry here.
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Old October 21, 2013, 12:20 AM   #18
BarryLee
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I suppose what really concerns me is that these questions could be used to filter out potential employees that might be gun owners. Maybe this is added as a question to a job application or included as a topic of background checks. If you disclose the truth or decline to answer you could miss out on a job. If you choose to mislead them and they later find out the truth you could be fired for cause resulting in the loss of unemployment benefits and a possible bad job reference.

I wonder if we need something like a gun owner’s bill of rights that restricts the release of the names of permit holders and/or gun purchases.
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Old October 21, 2013, 01:00 AM   #19
ClydeFrog
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gun questions, personality tests.....

About a year ago, I did a computer test for a private security company where the last 4 or 5 questions were about firearms/shooting.
Do you like shooting? Are you interested in guns? etc.
I think this was part of the personality assessment.
The labor practice is becoming more common in the private sector. It's used to screen applicants & avoid possible problems with employees in the future.

The CIA started personality testing to gauge new agents or informants value/credibility.
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PS; I did not get the security position.
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Old October 21, 2013, 10:01 AM   #20
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The worry is, what do they do with the answers...

And what conclusions they draw.

This is not a new thing, but it seems to be widening in scope. An employer might not hire you because you admit to being a gun owner. An employer might fire you if you admit to being a gun owner. And, if they did, count on the fact that they will NEVER admit that gun ownership was the reason.

They may be foolish, but they aren't that foolish. (and if they are that foolish, your lawyer(s) will eat them for lunch, most of them know that)

These things are devilishly hard to prove. On the other hand, they have a blanket out for getting rid of gun owners, provided they have a few other employees with the same beliefs (that guns, and gun owners are dangerous).

If some other employees complain about you, if you "scare" them, then you might find yourself in a "hostile work environment" situation. And they will fire you for that (and all it may take is a single lie from another employee).
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Old October 21, 2013, 06:12 PM   #21
Warrior1256
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I am not required by law to inform a LEO that I have a concealed weapon. However, when he or she runs my drivers license it shows that I have a CCW permit so it would probably be a good idea to disclose this to the LEO when he / she first approaches.
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Old October 21, 2013, 07:08 PM   #22
ClydeFrog
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Post #21, LE contacts....

I disagree with post #21.
The topic has come up before. I suggest any TFLers who want to see it, watch the Massad Ayoob video on what to do in motor vehicle traffic stops on www.youtube.com .
Ayoob makes some great points.
I would not say anything about my CCW or weapon(s) until a sworn LE officer asks for my ID and/or says something like; "do you have anything on you or in the vehicle I need to know about". Id rather the uniformed officer or sworn LE direct the questions then volunteer information. They feel in "control" & can dictate what occurs for "their" safety. You comply & avoid being confrontational or aggressive.

In 2004, I worked briefly with a sworn patrol deputy & US Navy veteran in the Pensacola FL area. He told our group about doing traffic stops on armed citizens or G/armed security officers who had holstered guns on them or in view, then say they were unarmed when asked.
Cops don't like that stuff.

Clyde
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Old October 22, 2013, 06:16 AM   #23
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I would never voluntarily tell my employer that I have a CC permit or enjoy shooting, but I do like to post my better targets in my office.
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Old October 22, 2013, 07:05 AM   #24
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As someone who sets policy and makes hiring decisions, I don't believe that it would be a legal question in an interview. Everyone must be an equal opportunity employer and I don't feel that that question would stand up in court if a candidate didn't get the job. If they "feel" that they didn't get the job because you asked that question, then they "may" have grounds for a lawsuit, assuming an attorney would take the case.

I know that I have at least two people who work for me who have carry permits, but I don't believe they carry at work, at least I have never been able to tell. If they do, they do a good job of keeping them concealed. I know they have permits because we have discussed it and I hooked them up with the class they needed to take to get their permits.
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Old October 22, 2013, 08:59 PM   #25
CUBAN REDNECK
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Government agencies are nosy too

During a job interview for a LE job about 20 years ago I was asked if I would shoot someone who was armed and had broken into my home. I guess my response was unacceptable at the time. But both private and governmental agencies ask these type questions. It may have been a worst case type scenario question, but the LE management types may have been appalled that I wouldn't submit to possible death or injury and would defend myself. It's indicative from my experience that most LE management types are firearm averse pencil pushers...
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