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Old December 9, 2011, 06:26 PM   #1
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WA concealed carry restrictions

Hi there,

I am a Seattle resident with an HK45C. I have a CPL and a Galco holster, but my gun is somewhat too large to be easily concealed (I'm a rather small person) so thusfar I almost never carry unless I'm going to/from the range. I just got a new job at a research institution downtown, and because it's downtown Seattle, there's nowhere to park, and we're expected to bus. Problem is, it's the north, and it's winter-- it'll be dark every evening I get on that bus, and that makes me *really* uncomfortable. So now I'd like to actually exercise my right to carry.

Only, it turns out that the place I've just gotten hired at has declared itself a "weapons free facility." (It is not a school or a courthouse or a jail or a mental hospital.) The company's policy is "uniformed officers only" and it's all weapons, not just firearms-- they tell me I don't even have the option of carrying a tazer. I know from personal experience that mace doesn't stop everyone, sometimes it just makes your attacker angrier. So my question is, is it in any way legal for an employer to tell its employees that they cannot lawfully carry a firearm onto the premises?
Arya is offline  
Old December 9, 2011, 06:55 PM   #2
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Oh, yes, quite legal. Just as you have the right to control who carries a gun in your living room, your employer can control who carries a gun at your place of employment.

I don't suppose they'd consider providing weapons lockers, huh?
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Old December 9, 2011, 08:03 PM   #3
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(I am assuming) that your place of employment in private property. That being the case, they have the legal right to tell you "no weapons". Just as they have the legal right to fire you if you are caught violating their company policy.

Your CCW permit only allows you to carry "in public", and any private property that informs you that you cannot carry there is entirely within their rights. Stores, workplace, resturants, they have the right, and the legal authority to forbid weapons, open, or concealed.

This is NOT a violation of your constitutional rights. Your right to bear arms does not trump the right of property owners. Just as their rules do not trump your rights on your property.

No one is forced to work there. No one is forced to go there. You can leave, or simply not go there at all. Now, it may be extremely inconvienient for you, but that has nothing to do with your, or their rights.

My opinion is that since they deny you the ability to carry a weapon, they are morally responsible for your safety. However, they are not legally responsible, beyond what OSHA requires for a safe workplace. And, given their policy, it appears that it is their belief that forbidding weapons to employees is the best solution for worker safety.

You may be a calm, stable, rational individual, and so may 99% of the workforce be, BUT, if even one employees is not, and harms another with a weapon that the company "allowed" on the premises, they will be held liable in court. Or at least someone will try to hold them liable in court. Either way, the company is at risk of losing a significant amount of money in fees and judgements. SO, the absolute ban, in order to protect their bottom line.

If you carry concealed in a (private) place that does not allow it, they cannot have you arrested for that. But they can order you to leave, and have you arrested for tresspass, if you do not comply. Your employer, CAN fire you for violation of company rules, provided you are informed of the rules (which you obviously are) just as they can fire you for stealing company property.

Its a bit sad, but the fact is you don't have a legal leg to stand on, when it comes to CCW at work. Their place, their rules. Period.

State law allows your permitted carry anywhere public, excepting bars and banks. Seattle recently tried prohibiting lawful CCW in their parks, and got overruled by the courts. They are currently trying to justify their position and get the ban re-instated, but at the moment that has not happened.

The best advice I can give you is to obey their rules, and run the risk until you can find another employer with a more tolerant attitude (which means you should be looking). I know jobs are scarce these days, and the advice of "move" or "find another job" isn't something easily done, or practical, very often. But you ought to consider it. No job is worth your life.

Good Luck.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old December 9, 2011, 11:40 PM   #4
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I live in WA. Don't worry so much about the concealed part...Open Carry is just as legal as CC...That part is not a problem. Can your private employer restrict your carry on his/her/its private premisses, yes, but not in your car...However, you stated you take the bus.

So, now, what to do about your employer. My solution is: Talk to them about giving you a place where you can lock your weapon up after you come to work. Tell them you are afraid to ride the bus at night without some sort of personal protection, and that you are perfectly willing to go un-armed while at work, but not going to and from work. Don't just talk to HR,,, talk to the CEO if needed. Your request is not unreasonable, and if you are reasonable, most employers can be also. You could even volunteer to provide the lock box.

If they refuse to allow you to protect yourself coming and going from work, get it in writing...that way you can show that it was their reckless neglagent disregard for your safety in their refusing to allow you to protect yourself during your commute,,,that caused your problems, should you have any.

Unlike what others have stated here...In WA your employer can be liable for what happens to you from the time you leave for work, until you return safely home...under certain conditions. One of those conditions is just what I stated above.
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Old December 10, 2011, 10:38 AM   #5
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Is it that there is NO parking in downtown Seattle? or that there is no free/cheap parking in downtown Seattle? I haven't been there in years (don't care for the place) I live on the dry side.

I suppose there might be very specific circumstances where your employer could be legally responsible for your safety when away from the work location, but that would be a very unusual situation.

Generally speaking, the law doesn't care how awkward, impractical, or expensive your alternatives are, as long as you have alternatives, they are unlikely to find your employer responsible for your personal safety to and from work unless the company picks you up at your doorstep and drops you off after work. It's not their fault that you have to take the bus....etc.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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